The 4th of July is just around the corner, which means it is time to celebrate America’s independence, have an outdoor barbeque and watch fireworks. But just like every big holiday, it is an ideal time for cyber criminals to scam you of your money, infect your computer with malware and possibly steal your identity.
Don’t let cyber criminals ruin your patriotic celebration! Here is a list of the top three 4th of July scams and ways to protect yourself:
1. Patriotic Phishing Emails: One general online rule is to never open emails from people that you do not know. But what if you receive an eCard that claims to be from a friend? If the eCard tells you to click on a link to view the card, don’t click it. It may contain malware that will infect your computer. Once your computer is infected with malware, it can work like a spy – quietly sitting on your computer and sending sensitive information from your computer to cyber criminals with your knowledge.
How to Protect Yourself: Never open suspicious emails. Keep your anti-virus software on at all times and up-to-date. Add an extra layer of security by using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) such as Hotspot Shield to keep your entire online activity private and secure. Hotspot Shield also protects you from four basic types of malware sites, including phishing sites, infected sites, Trojan sites, spam sites and content farms.
2. “Deceptive 4th Of July Sales: Be careful when shopping online to get the best deals during 4th of July. Electronics are the most popular for incredible deals – but if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Scammers also create fake retail websites during any holiday as a trap to steal your credit card information.
How to Protect Yourself: We recommend to only shop from well-known online retail stores that you trust. Always double-check the link in the URL. Some phishing scam sites may redirect you to a fake online retail store on a different URL. The fake online store may look similar to the real online store. When making purchases online, also consider using a prepaid credit card.
3. Fake Tickets for Shows and Events: One of the most common scams during 4th of July is the selling of fake tickets for firework shows or concerts. Scammers will sell counterfeit tickets on Craigslist or in person when these types of events sell out.
How to Protect Yourself: Only purchase directly from the venue or from trusted ticket sellers such as TicketMaster or LiveNation. Avoid non-local sellers who ask you to pay by money order or wire transfer, as these transactions are fraudulent. Be weary of e- tickets, as the seller can easily sell multiple copies – in which the first holder to show up would be admitted.
Priscilla Lopez on Google+