‘Tis the Season, For Cyber Scams

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As you are surfing the web, looking for all those Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, some people are going phishing, for your identity.

You receive a link, via email. Look, it’s a e-card from a family member. But, you might want to think twice before you click on it. In addition to the e-greeting, you could be loading a virus onto your computer.

“Or even worse, a piece of software that will follow you around the internet and log every single key stroke you make. So, it’ll see what websites you’re going to. It’ll check your passwords,” says Howard Schwartz of the Connecticut Better Business Bureau.

It’s called a key logger.

“Every time you press a key on the computer keyboard, it’s sending electronic information that can be intercepted by this software,” warned Schwartz.

This time of year, there is also an uptick in frauds involving charitable causes. The best way to dionate safely is to find a charity, rather than responding to an appeal through social media, email or a telephone call.

And, what if you`ve ordered a gift that requires shipping to you? Schwartz says make certain you keep your tracking number and the name of the delivery company handy.

“There are not many shipping companies that we all know of. And, if we get an email from them, and it says to enter your information here, that could download malware into your computer,” added Schwartz.

If giving gift cards is your approach, you should avoid purchasing them from any source other than a merchant`s online site or in their store.

“A lot of times you can find them at a 5 percent or a 10 percent discount online, but they might not be real. They might be purchased using a stolen credit card,” said Detective Kimberly Wall, from the Hartford Police Department’s Fraud Division.

If you are a victim of a cyber crime, local police departments say they usually cannot be of much assistance. They suggest filing a complaint through the FBI’s website.

“They track these trends throughout the country,” noted Wall.

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