Watch out for Scams this Shopping Season

You will have to watch out for scams this shopping season when there are so many scammers and knock-off merchandise out there. This holiday season is expecting record attempts from Internet-criminals on shoppers.

Watch out for scams this shopping season.

With all the stores, people, and on-line stores gearing up for holiday sales there will be much spending going on everywhere. The criminals are no exception. They usually plan for this all-year long. In 2011, during the Black Friday weekend over 52.4 billion dollars was spent. Only 1.8% would go to cyber-criminals. That is a whopping 943 million dollars, so there is a lot of money in scamming people online.

Some things to look out for are deals that are way to good to be true. If this is the case you may be buying a knock off item or even stolen items. There may also be Internet based stores that may not have verified sellers logos. Most sites have a logo at the bottom of the page that verifies the security of the page.

Attackers always use phishing emails each year to lure you in to special sales or deals. You should be extra cautious in answering any emails during the holiday season. Unless you can guarantee that your email came from a reputable source I would not answer any of those emails. Phishing emails are emails that look legitimate but are not. They may even have links to fake shopping sites that look very real, but are not. Even if they are not shopping related there are many viruses that are spread by email that can track all of the keys you type, including passwords, user names, and credit card information.

The biggest thing about attackers, is that they will find new ways to trick victims in to giving them what they want. Follow your gut feeling, and if your not sure, do not risk it. Even if you get attacked you can follow appropriate avenues to prove you got ripped off and you may get your money back, but this may not happen until after the holiday season.