With the COVID-19 pandemic present alongside ongoing technological growth, online shopping is becoming the new norm. Though it was already popular before to buy things through online websites, we've really seen it pop off with many in-person retail stores closing down.
With more people online shopping, cybercriminals are taking this opportunity to take advantage of online shoppers and to potentially trick them into giving away personal information and funds through malicious activities. The major area we're seeing this take place on is through phishing emails.
Many cybercriminals will create fake or spoofing emails to scam you, so it's crucial for you to be aware of the signs and to always double-check the legitimacy of the email before you engage with it.
Here are some tips when receiving email shopping deals:
1. Spelling and grammar mistakes
If you notice spelling and grammar mistakes in an email shopping deal, it is most likely a scam. Some cybercriminals will put in more effort and will have proper spelling and grammar to ensure their attempts are more realistic and discreet.
2. Requests for personal information
If an email requests any personal information from you or the link attached takes you to a login page, do not put any credentials or information in.
3. Suspicious looking websites, links, logos, or attachments
Does the company or brand's logo look a bit off or pixelated? This could indicate a fake site or spoofing email. The same goes for any suspicious or off-looking links and attachments. Best practice is to avoid clicking on anything displayed on this type of email.
4. Strong sense of urgency and threats
Cybercriminals like to utilize threats or urgent messages to scare us and to use it against us. Many people panic and fall victim to these methods and that's why cybercriminals continue to do it. Always stay calm and think before giving any private information out.
5. If a deal is too good to be true... it probably is
If a deal seems to good, it's probably a scam. You may think you're saving a couple extra dollars with the deal, but you may find yourself losing a lot more if you fall for a malicious scam.
6. Go directly to the website through your browser
Rather than clicking on a direct link from an email, simply go to the website directly through your search engine on your browser. This way is much more secure for accessing online shops.
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