National Cyber Awareness System:
US-CERT Alerts Users to Holiday Phishing Scams and Malware Campaigns
US-CERT reminds users to remain vigilant when browsing or shopping online this holiday season. Ecards from unknown senders may contain malicious links. Fake advertisements or shipping notifications may deliver infected attachments. Spoofed email messages and fraudulent posts on social networking sites may request support for phony causes.
To avoid seasonal campaigns that could result in security breaches, identity theft, or financial loss, users are encouraged to take the following actions:
If you believe you are a victim of a holiday phishing scam or malware campaign, consider the following actions:
I just found out that my folks got nailed. They don't remain very vigilant about checking their balance and such regularly and found out today that someone had purchased upwards of $600 at Bon Ton. The total was that much but they did it twice on the same day.
They're getting new cards and hopefully their credit union will reimburse them (many banks and credit unions do up to a certain amount), but this is really irksome.
We don't know exactly how their information was compromised, whether through their computer or just a number generator, but either way it's still disheartening that this sort of thing happens.
I'm going to be bringing their computer over here to run a lot of scans this weekend to make sure it is clean. Not that this is sure to make some difference, nor that it had anything to do with this, but if there is even a one percent chance that they have some unwanted malware or virus on there, I want it gone. I'm also going to make sure that all of their browser settings are correct and will make sure to install AdBlock Plus.
I think their credit union probably will reimburse them, at least this time. I actually had something similar happen to me twice years ago. The difference, though, was that I was with HSBC at the time and they caught it due to the charges being different from my normal ones. They stopped any further charges and called me. They reimbursed me and sent me a new card. The crazy thing about it, though, was that I was sent some of the things purchased. Mostly beauty products. LOL. That was the first instance. The second time it happened was the next year, but it was a lower amount, and the bank, of course, caught it again, called me, sent me a new card and reimbursed me again. HSBC was good about fraudulent charges.
Electronic banking and shopping are great things, but there are definitely some drawbacks, and no matter how careful you are, they can still get you. Even if you never shop online or use your card at a store or store ATM, and you get all of your cash directly from the bank without your card number being used by anything, EVER, including the bank's own ATM, and you pay all of your bills with money orders, they can still get you with number generators. It's sad.