SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU)—If you’re one of thousands of Americans who prefer to do their holiday shopping online, be aware of criminals looking to take advantage of Cyber Monday too.
Online thieves are using fake e-mails and even fake websites to lure consumers into giving up their personal information. They also often send out fake shipping notices. These scams are called phishing scams and while the e-mail may look convincing, there are a few details that often give away these impostor emails.
-The sender’s email address looks almost right but contains slight misspellings.
-The email addresses you as “valued customer” or other generic term instead of by name.
-Or the message warns that you need to take immediate action and asks you to click a link and enter personal details, especially payment information.
Many phishing websites can look identical to their real counterparts, and are meant to trick anyone who’s not paying attention. But there are simple steps you can use to prevent your personal information from being stolen. here are a few tips from security company ASecureLife:
Check the domain name. For example, a fake site will have “Yah00.com” instead of “Yahoo.com”–the os are replaced with zeroes.
Check the address bar. Most people don’t pay attention to the wed address, especially the part that comes before the company. But make sure any site you’re entering sensitive information says ” https:// ” and not ” http://”. That missing “s” in the address may not mean it’s a fake website, but it does mean that your shouldn’t trust the site with your information.
Watch for excessive spelling and grammar mistakes. Too many typos can indicate that a website went up in a hurry. Legitimate websites may have a typo here and there, but the site will still be professional. Impostor sites will also have unusual wording or random capitalization.
The simplest tip is an old saying: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”.