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What the Tech? Phishing scams and shopping | What The Tech?

While millions of people started their holiday shopping early with Amazon Prime Day, scammers are busy too. Phishing scams are always bad but they seem to get worse after big online sales like Amazon Prime Day, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday.

Now that many of us are still working from home, those scams are even more dangerous, to you, and the company you work for.

Here’s the scam: you get an email saying your package or order has been delayed and to find out why or to track, open the email and click the link, it doesn’t take you to the FedEx, UPS, or Postal Service websites, but installs malware on your computer. Malware that can sit silently for days before installing programs and stealing your information. Or the malware locks your computer and demands payment to get everything back.

Ransomware attacks have hit hospitals and governments hard during the pandemic. Puerto Rico’s government paid out over $2.5 million dollars, likely because one of its employees clicked a link in an email.

Since people are working from home, away from their I.T. department, ransomware attacks are easier to get past unsuspecting employees.

The FTC reports an increase in phishing text messages like these. Again, telling people their package is delayed, or that a lost package was discovered. The cybersecurity firm Digital Shadows investigated one phishing text and found it took the person to a page that looked similar to the U.S. Postal Service, offering a free gift for answering a survey. Then asking for their name and address, then asking for a credit card number. These scams are easy to carry out, and they’re often successful.

You should never open a link in an unsolicited text message or email.

If you ordered something and want to track the package, go back to the online retailer you bought it from and do it from there. Unless you sign up to receive text updates from one of the delivery companies, they’re not going to send you updates.

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