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#cyberfraud | #cybercriminals | Watch out for Cyber Monday scammers

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Cyber Monday — Dec. 2 this year — is poised to be among the biggest shopping days of the year. The National Retail Federation estimates total retail sales for the season to reach as high as $730.7 billion, and 56 percent of holiday shoppers plan on clicking to shop.

While most online retailers are reliable, some are not. Better Business Bureau received more than 32,000 complaints about online retailers and more than 7,200 BBB Scam Tracker reports about online purchase scams so far in 2019. Online purchase scams ranked as the second riskiest scam of 2018 in the St. Louis region.

A St. Louis woman told BBB Scam Tracker in late October 2019 she never received a college sports-themed gift she purchased for her husband in early September 2019. She said the company charged her credit card the day of the purchase and sent an order confirmation, but never sent a shipping confirmation, nor did the purchased item ever arrive. The woman told BBB when she attempted to contact the company, its phone number had been disconnected, and the website URL listed in the order confirmation email pointed to a day care in Australia.

Shoppers can prepare themselves for online shopping by watching ads and browsing for the items they’re seeking in advance. Many online retailers already have set up sites where Cyber Monday offers will be advertised. Unless you’re educated, it can be hard to tell whether an online deal actually will save you money. Read a site’s policies for returns and understand shipping schedules before you enter your credit card number.

BBB’s 10 tips for safe online shopping are as follows:

1. Protect your computer. Install a firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware software. Check for and install the latest updates and run virus scans regularly.

2. Check a site’s security settings before entering financial data, such as a credit card number. If the site is secure, the URL (web address) on the payment page should start with “https://.”

3. Shop trustworthy websites. Look for BBB Accredited Business seals on websites and click to confirm they’re valid. BBB’s dynamic seal will take you to a site’s BBB Business Profile. You also may find reviews at

4. Protect personal information. Read a site’s privacy policy and understand what personal information is being requested and how it will be used. Don’t enter that information on unsolicited emails. If a site lacks a privacy policy, it could be a red flag that the site could sell your information without your permission.

5. Beware of too-good-to-be-true deals. Offers on websites and in unsolicited emails may display free or low prices on hard-to-find items. There may be hidden costs, or your purchase may sign you up for a monthly charge. Look for and read the fine print.

6. Beware of phishing. Legitimate businesses do not send emails claiming problems with an order, account or a package to lure the buyer into revealing financial information. If you receive such an email, BBB recommends you call the contact number on the website where the purchase was made to confirm a problem.

7. Pay with a credit card. Under federal law, you can dispute the charges if you don’t receive an item. Shoppers also have dispute rights if there are any unauthorized charges on the card, and many card issuers have zero-liability policies if someone steals and uses your card number. Check your credit card statement regularly for unauthorized charges. Never wire money to someone you don’t know.

8. Keep documentation of your order. Save a copy of the confirmation page of an order or emails confirming the order until you receive the item and are satisfied.

9. Obtain a tracking number for shipments. If you need the product before the holidays, find out when the seller intends to ship it and, if possible, how it will be shipped. The tracking number can help you find a lost order.

10. Know your rights. Federal law requires that orders made by phone, mail or online be shipped by the date promised or within 30 days if no delivery time was stated. If goods aren’t shipped on time, shoppers can cancel and demand a refund. Consumers also may reject merchandise if it is defective or was misrepresented.

Check a company’s BBB Business Profile before you make a purchase by going to or by calling 573-886-8965.

Michelle Gleba is the Mid-Missouri regional director for Better Business Bureau.

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#deepweb | Cybercriminals also offering Black Friday bargains on dark web: report

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Black Friday deals have spread to black-market retailers hawking drugs, stolen data and fake IDs online, according to new reports.

The annual discounting bonanza for legitimate businesses is now also a staple of the internet underworld, digital security firm co-founder James Chappell told Sky News. 

“We’ve seen the same strategies that online retailers and physical retailers use, being used in these criminal markets,” said Chappell, whose company is called Digital Shadows.

“We see them used either to provide discounts, ‘stack ’em high and sell ’em cheap’ type strategies, and we’ve seen the same with discount codes, introductions, building up excitement before the event, adverts that entice and enthuse,” he told the outlet.

A week before the big day, Chappell’s company found more than 1,600 posts about “Black Friday 2019” on dark web criminal forums, according to the Independent.

Cybercriminals in the UK make more in illegal online sales than any other European country, per a new report from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction.

The report noted that British dark web retailers pulled in over $30 million USD between 2017 and 2018.

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#cyberfraud | #cybercriminals | Facebook ‘Secret Sister Gift Exchange’ Is Illegal Scam, Better Business Bureau Warns

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

A Facebook post that resurfaces around the holiday season has been declared as an illegal scam, according to the Better Business Bureau.

The post discusses the “Secret Sister Gift Exchange,” where participants are instructed to send one gift in order to receive up to 36 gifts in return. However, it’s easy to see that the math just doesn’t add up.

“These gift exchanges, while they look like innocent fun, are really pyramid schemes – and are considered illegal,” the BBB warns.

The gift exchange first became popular in 2015. Users were encouraged to invite others to participate in the exchange and were told that they would receive information on where to send the gifts.

Eventually, participants will be instructed to send an email or social media invitation to send a modest gift to a stranger along with their friends, family and contacts.

“The cycle continues and you’re left with buying and shipping gifts for unknown individuals, in hopes that the favor is reciprocated by receiving the promised number of gifts in return. Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen,” says the BBB.

In reality, the scam relies on recruitments to remain afloat. When people stop participating, the supply of gifts dwindles, letting down countless people who were expecting gifts.

But it doesn’t end there: the information you provide during the exchange can easily end up in the hands of cyber thieves.

“When signing up, the alleged campaign organizer is asking for personal information such as a mailing address or an email,” says the BBB. “With just a few pieces of information, cyber thieves could expose you to future scams or commit identity theft.”

The BBB recommends keeping the following tips in mind should you receive an invitation to participate in an online gift exchange with people you don’t know:

  • Ignore it. Pyramid schemes are illegal in the United States and Canada.
  • Report social media posts inviting users to participate in the gift exchange.
  • Avoid giving out personal identifying information to strangers.
  • Be aware of false claims. Even invitations that claim to be legal and endorsed by the government are false, as the government will never endorse illegal activity.

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#cyberfraud | #cybercriminals | City of Ekurhuleni warns of ongoing scams and cyber crime

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans With the festive season approaching, the City of Ekurhuleni (CoE) warns people of scammers who have been reportedly scamming people of their money. This follows complaints received by the City from people who have been scammed by people pretending to be municipal officials. Many victims were […] View full post on

#cyberfraud | #cybercriminals | Business Mail Compromise: 5 ways to detect this scam and what can be done to prevent it

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans Advertisement Millions of dollars and lots of personal information are being stolen by a growing threat known as the Business Email Compromise (BEC). Business Mail Compromise: 5 ways to detect this scam and what can be done to prevent itMillions of dollars and lots of personal […] View full post on

#cyberfraud | #cybercriminals | Big sales and big scams – What you should be wary of on Black Friday and beyond

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Lots of people looking for a deal means that there are also a number of criminals looking to take advantage of those shopping.

Black Friday kicks off a shopping frenzy in the US and that same frenzy is leaking into other parts of the world, particularly here in South Africa.

As many shoppers move their shopping online, criminals have shifted their approach online as well.

Despite cybercriminals developing new and terrifying ways of scamming folks out of money, some attack vectors still prove popular such as email.

Phishing scams have become increasingly complex and unless you are paying full attention, things can slip past you. Take the electronic mailer for instance, these mails seem innocent enough but they can be an effective front for criminals to use.

Mailers containing attachments that require you download them before viewing should be avoided at all costs. Firms are more likely to embed deals directly into emails so they are easier for you to browse.

In addition to this, even if you receive a mailer containing incredible specials, it’s worth heading directly to the website rather than following a link. This is because links can be compromised and you may be heading to a website that looks legitimate but really isn’t.

“Black Friday and Cyber Monday are major shopping events on the South African calendar, and this makes them a breeding ground for fake specials, malicious links and criminal activity,” explains managing director of security training company Popcorn Trading, Anna Collard.

“There’s always an increase in fake special offers designed to lure people into clicking on a malicious link or opening a malicious attachment. People can end up handing out money for something that doesn’t exist,” the MD elaborates.

A good way to tell if a website is legitimate or not is in the URL. Often criminals will make use of special characters and letter combinations (vv to look like a w for instance) to try to fool users.

New lows

If scamming innocent civilians out of money isn’t scummy enough, how about using charity to do it?

Cybercriminals are not above using charity to trick folks into parting ways with their money. To combat this, folks need to be especially critical of donating to charities during this time.

“At the end of the year, most of us feel the need to give back and fraudsters know it. They set up fake charities that use existing events or trends, such as refugees, and get you to donate the money to them. Only give money to reputable charities that are accredited or well known, check their URLs to ensure they’re not bogus, and never give out your personal information unless you’re 100 percent sure,” advises Collard.

This goes for fundraising websites as well. While many causes are legitimate and there are measures in place to protect those kind enough to donate money, things can slip through cracks.

Once you’re done shopping you may think the danger is over but sadly, cybercriminals are always on the look out and the best time to strike is when you least expect it.

Fake shipping notices are a good attack vector as you likely won’t expect good customer service to be a risk. While downloading a form and filling it in sounds innocent enough that form could be headed for criminals with less than innocent intentions.

That form could also be malicious software that could compromise your PC when downloaded and executed.

Above all, keep your wits about you this shopping season. If an offer seems suspicious get a second opinion or avoid it altogether.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]

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#cyberfraud | #cybercriminals | The number of Black Friday scams is increasing and they’re becoming more sophisticated

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans With a rise in the number of shops offering Black Friday bargains, security experts say scammers are capitalising on the trend in the hope of conning shoppers. Experts say fraudsters are becoming ‘more sophisticated’ in their attempts to con people out of their hard earned cash, […] View full post on

#cyberfraud | #cybercriminals | A Tale Of Two Court Cases

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans Exchanges Vs RBI: The Supreme Court is now likely to hear the matter on January 14 Supreme Court directs to list Amit Bhardwaj’s case on January 20 Pune Court too has postponed the hearing to December 18, citing I/O absence on Nov 19 As documented by […] View full post on

#cyberfraud | #cybercriminals | Charging phones this way can be risky

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans More than most professionals, real estate agents tend to find themselves on the go. And that often means finding new places to charge various electronic devices after, or during, a long day of phone calls and texts with clients. However, officials this week issued a stark […] View full post on

#cyberfraud | #cybercriminals | How compromised emails enable cybercrime and real estate scams — Quartz

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans The CEO of an unidentified Swiss company was scammed out of nearly $1 million by a multinational fraud ring, according to a criminal complaint unsealed last week in federal court. The executive, who is identified in the filing only as “S.K.,” was in the process of […] View full post on