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.

The tech support scam is resurfacing and taking unsuspecting consumers’ computers hostage.  The scammer will either call or the user will see a pop up ad that looks like it’s from a legitimate company like Microsoft, claiming that their computer has a virus.  The notification then prompts the user to immediately contact a toll free number listed in the ad  to resolve the issue.  The problem is the the ad is fake and when the person contacts the number, they are instructed to either click on a malware infected link that allows the fraudster remote-control access to their computer or they are directed to a fake website where they enter credit card information to pay for bogus services. The fraudster now has gained unauthorized access to their sensitive personal and financial data.

Tip:  Don’t respond to unsolicited calls, even if the caller ID looks legitimate.  Scammers can spoof caller ID.  Ignore pop ups on your screen asking you to call a number or click on a link.  Update your anti-virus software on a regular basis and never give out your computer password.

You can learn more about how to protect yourself from Tech Support 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.