From phishing to fake cybermarts, beware of these common traps that ensnare virtual shoppers. If you’re one of those credit card-happy people who buys even groceries online, then these are the scams you should be aware of.
1. Social media scams: Scammers use channels, like Facebook and Twitter and websites to scam consumers. Be careful when clicking or liking posts, while taking advantage of contests, ads and special deals that you get from your “friends”. Criminals are getting savvier with authentic-looking social ads and deals that take consumers to legitimate looking websites. In order to take advantage of the deals, they ask for personal information that can obtain your credit card number, email or home address or phone.
2. Malicious Mobile Apps: As smartphone users, we are app crazy. But as the popularity of applications has grown, so have the chances that you could download a malicious app designed to steal your information or even send out premium-rate text messages without your knowledge.
3. Travel Scams: Before you book your flight or hotel, keep in mind that scammers are looking to hook you with too-good-to-be-true deals. Phony travel webpages, sometimes using your preferred company, with beautiful pictures and rock-bottom prices, are used to get you to hand over your financial details.
4. iPhone 5, iPad Mini and other gift scams: The kind of excitement and buzz surrounding Apple’s new iPhone 5 or iPad Mini is just what cybercrooks dream of when they plot their scams. They will mention must-have gifts in dangerous links, phony contests (like “Free iPad”) and phishing emails as a way to grab computer users’ attention to reveal personal data or click on a link that could download malware onto your machine.
5 Skype Message Scare: People around the world use Skype to connect with their loved ones. But be aware of a new Skype message scam that attempts to infect your machine, and even holds your files ransom.
6. Bogus gift cards: Cybercriminals want to get in on the action by offering bogus gift cards online. Be wary of buying gift cards from third parties; just imagine how embarrassing it would be to find out that the card you gave your cousin was fake!
7. Phoney E-tailers: Phoney e-commerce sites that appear real, try to lure you into typing in your credit card number and other personal details, often by promoting great deals. But after obtaining your money and information, you never receive the merchandise, and your personal information is put at risk.