The holiday season is the prime time for fraudsters looking to take advantage of distracted, frenzied shoppers. Consumers are worried about protecting their data because of the spike in hack attacks, phishing schemes and scams. Despite the festivities and spirit of giving, it is becoming more difficult for consumers to avoid the bad guys in a dangerous digital world.

Don’t let Cyber Grinches steal your cash and holiday cheer. To keep you cyber safe for the holidays, we’ll be counting down the twelve most popular scams to watch out for this season.

This holiday season “ho, ho, ho” could mean “no, no, no”. Watch out for fraudulent websites offering handwritten “Letters from Santa” for $19.99.  You may receive an email claiming that you have to act quickly to grab this perfect gift for your child, a special letter from Santa direct from the North Pole.  You click on a link which takes you to a website, which is really a cyber trap.  Once you enter in your personal and credit card information, the fraudster now has your financial data and you have just been taken for a bad sleigh ride by Krampus instead of jolly Old St. Nick.
Tip:  Think before you click that link.  Don’t fall for claims that you have to act now.  Hover over the link in the email to check if the source is legitimate. Look for an HTTPS on the site to make sure it’s secure and check for misspellings. Research the site and make sure it has a real customer service line. Never enter credit card information on a site you are unfamiliar with.

You can learn more about how to protect yourself from Letter from Santa Scams and other scams from Adam Levin’s newest book, Swiped: How to Protect Yourself in a World Full of Scammers, Phishers, and Identity Thieves.  This is your survival guide to help you avoid hackers, phishers, and scammers from becoming your problem during the holidays. With a clear headed, practical approach, Swiped is invaluable not only for preventing problems but helping consumers cope when dealing with identity theft incidents. Order your copy of the best selling Privacy and Online Safety book on Amazon.