Phishing scams are aiming at online shoppers this Holiday Season. Black Friday wasn’t as big of a shopping day as it could have been this year, and we have the pandemic to thank for that. Retailers extend the holiday shopping season by starting earlier and offering more deals online. Holiday shoppers have responded to those changes and are purchasing more items online. While Black Friday’s in-store sales may have been lackluster, it looks like 2020 will be a good year for retailers, thanks to a hefty increase in online shopping.
Unfortunately, there’s a downside to that. Hackers and phishing scams are now aiming at online shoppers. Security professionals at CheckPoint have seen a massive 440 percent increase in phishing scams aiming at online shoppers. The most common of these are emails with designs to look like they come from one of the major shipping companies, bearing subject lines that indicate some problem with the shipment of a recent order.
Naturally, online shoppers are anxious to get their delivery on time, so this is a clever bit of phishing email scams using social engineering that virtually guarantees the recipient of such a message will at least open it to read further.
How the Phishing Email Works
The body of these phishing email messages tends to proceed down fairly predictable paths, usually claiming an incorrect calculation of the shipping charge when the recipient checks out, and they’ll need to pay a small additional fee to receive their package.
Naturally, the body of the email includes a link to facilitate the payment. As you might expect, if a user clicks on the link and enters in their payment information, all they’re doing is giving their credit card number and other personal information to the scammers for use later.
It only takes a moment’s carelessness to be a victim of one of these phishing email scams.
If you fall victim to this phishing email scam, it can cost you thousands of dollars and countless hours to reverse the damage. Stay vigilant, and be aware that this kind of activity is on the rise this Holiday Season.