Many Nebraskans will be spending the next few days on their computers checking out holiday shopping deals. This is a reminder to be careful where you click. Scammers are out there ready to take advantage of you and your bank account.
Cyber safety expert Chester Wisniewski says emails will be packed with ads from stores offering specials. Many of them look like they are from the legitimate stores but they are really scammers using look-alike logos. Wisniewski says, “A majority of the stuff out there these days starts with an email and ends on the web. In addition to promising sale items and asking you to click through and of course promptly asking for your user name password and all your all your personal details they then steal and use for identity theft or log into the real sites and try to make purchases for themselves.” If you are shopping online, ignore all email links and go directly to the store’s website.
Most Nebraskans are expecting packages delivered due to the convenience of online shopping but scammers have caught onto that as well. Wisniewski says they can also impersonate UPS or the Postal Service by using emails questioning delivery. They often state they couldn’t deliver a package so click here to reschedule. This is a reminder to never click links associated with email unless you are absolutely sure they are directly from the source.
Other tips include having security software on your computer, tablet or phone. Wisniewski says, “It does a lot more than block computer viruses. Those links that take you to a fake that may be impersonating your credit card company or Amazon, they aren’t running on the real websites of Amazon or the real website of your credit card company. Security software on your computer can filter out those malicious web pages no different than you might think of filtering out things that aren’t appropriate for children.”
Finally, Wisniewski says keep very close tabs on your credit card statements and bank accounts this time of year for fraudulent purchases and notify them as soon as possible if you suspect theft.