It’s only early November, but you have probably already seen Christmas trees sold in stores. This is a trend known as “seasonal creep” in which retailers start selling seasonal items in advance of the actual season. Did you know that cybercriminals also follow this trend?For example, Black Friday and Cyber Monday traditionally fell after Thanksgiving in the United States. However, these international shopping events now start as early as November 1. Cybercriminals take advantage of this trend by sending phishing emails disguised as advertisements and phony purchase receipts long before the holiday season begins. Follow the tips below to shop safely this holiday season:
- Never click a link from an email or text message that you weren’t expecting, even if the link appears to be for a store you recognize. Instead, use your browser to navigate directly to the retailer’s official website.
- Watch out for malvertising. Malvertising is when cybercriminals try to phish shoppers through ads on social media and other websites. Always think before you click!
- Be cautious of advertisements that promise outrageous deals. Remember that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is!
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