Are You Going to Be Scammed This Holiday Season?

Patrick Avery

The holiday season often brings out the best in people. But it also brings out a swarm of hackers, swindlers and cyber criminals. So, it's important for people to be aware of potential online crimes in the making. McAfee is doing its part by releasing "The Twelve Scams of Christmas." This is a list of the 12 most dangerous online scams that computer users should be cautious of this holiday season.


Here's a taste of the cons that await us.


  • Charity Phishing Scams. Be careful who you give to during the holiday season. Hackers take advantage of citizens' generosity by sending e-mails that appear to be from legitimate charitable organizations. In reality, they are fake Web sites designed to steal donations, credit card information and the identities of donors.


  • The Dangers of Holiday E-Cards. Cyber thieves cash in on consumers who send holiday e-cards in an effort to be environmentally conscious. Last holiday season, McAfee Labs discovered a worm masked as Hallmark e-cards and McDonald's and Coca-Cola holiday promotions. Holiday-themed PowerPoint e-mail attachments also are popular among cyber criminals. Be careful what you click on.


  • Christmas Carol Lyrics Can Be Dangerous. Holiday searches are risky during the holidays. Hackers create fraudulent holiday-related Web sites for people searching for a holiday ringtone or wallpaper, Christmas carol lyrics or a festive screensaver. Downloading holiday-themed files may infect your computer with spyware, adware or other malware. McAfee found one Christmas carol download site that led searchers to adware, spyware and other potentially unwanted programs.


For the rest of the scams to look out for, click on the link above to go to the Knowledge Network, where you'll find the entire Christmas scams checklist. After taking a look at that document, let us know what scams you are looking out for this year.

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Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Dec 3, 2009 4:58 AM steven wetherell steven wetherell  says:

How about getting a few engineers and programmers together to create an ERP solution integrating AV / AS with an auto-scamming filter??? Sending up an alert for a possible scam.

On a humorous note, you could reply back to the hacker with an e-card from Charlie brown with a bag of rocks. Possible ROI if you could charge for every holiday.


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