4 Ways to Prevent Phishing Emails During the Holidays

As the winter whirlwind of holidays swiftly approaches, fraud and scam attempts reach an annual apex.  This quarterly fraud trends update will focus on phishing attempts— and no, we don’t mean fishing with a rod, hooks and bait!  Phishing is a form of cyber-attack that entices users into clicking on a link that will compromise private data. These links can download malicious software onto your computer or lead you to phony websites that might ask for personal information, credit card details or login credentials for your bank account. Phishing emails can include enticing offers, but these fraudulent emails are also often disguised as important requests from your boss, government agency or trusted retailer. 

These scams are particularly popular over the holidays when everyone is looking for the best deal and sometimes in a hurry. The scammers will deceive victims by offering products at an unbelievable deal or even free through malevolent emails. The emails that scammers send are embedded with a link that can put your personal information at risk by clicking on it.  

4 ways to protect yourself from phishing emails: 

  1. Always review the domain. If it doesn’t match the sender or company name, delete it immediately or report it.
  2. Avoid clicking on suspicious links that you were not expecting. Be wary if they are asking for your login credentials.
  3. Be careful what you are subscribing to. Only opt into a subscription on secure sites. You can tell if a site is secure if its URL starts with https, not http (the addition of the ‘s’ means ‘secure’).
  4. Remain vigilant during the holiday season as it’s the most popular time for fraudsters to attack. The hustle and bustle of the holiday season increases people’s vulnerability to fraud, and slowing down can protect you from peril.

That’s all for now, but want to want to learn more? Click here to view a recording of our most recent fraud awareness webinar, focusing on ransomware. 

Sierre Lindgren

Sierre Lindgren

Sierre Lindgren oversees the fraud team at Paymerang. Sierre graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with degrees in Psychology and Criminal Justice. Before joining Paymerang, she worked in the finance industry for over 11 years. The last 5 years working for a local financial institution she focused on ACH, debit card, and wire fraud. When she is not fighting fraud, she is enjoying family time on the Rappahannock River.