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FBI & BBB Advising US Residents to Avoid Holiday-Themed E-mails

According to the news reported by WXYZ on December 17, 2008, with the approaching dates of Hanukkah and Christmas, online scammers are trying to exploit the shopping anxiety surrounding consumers across the US, as they aim to make illegal profits.

The reports disclose that the local BBB (Better Business Bureau) is alerting consumers about a new wave of scam e-mails circulating this vacation. Also, BBB says that the scam artists are impersonating well-known organizations that do most of their business during this time every year, trying to capture personal data like credit card and social security numbers.

According to Public Affairs Director of BBB serving Eastern Michigan, Tim Burns, while the country is promoting love and peace this season, cyber criminals are disseminating computer viruses and committing identity theft, as reported by WXYZ on December 17, 2008.

Burns further said that hackers are pretending to be legitimate businesses to exploit the seasonal growth in internet shopping. They use messages related to holiday themes to woo users into believing online scams and frauds.

Meanwhile, it isn't only BBB, which is advising people of safe internet shopping. FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation), starting the 1st week of December 2008, is also repeatedly cautioning netizens in the US to protect themselves from becoming victims of holiday-themed online scams that involve electronic greeting cards or other kinds of spoofing frauds that are likely to be phishing assaults.

According to FBI, phishing e-mails attract victims to fake e-commerce websites in attempts to glean passwords and credit card details. By imitating legitimate sites, they trick unsuspecting buyers into giving their information during supposed legitimate purchases, particularly during this holiday time every year when online purchases are the highest.

Nevertheless, to avoid becoming victim of any internet phishing scam connected with the Christmas shopping, FBI has issued some security guidelines for online shoppers. The bureau recommends that users refrain from clicking on any link sent via unsolicited e-mail, particularly those arriving from reputed companies. It also asks internet surfers to directly visit websites mentioned in the uninvited e-mails rather than visit them via embedded links.

Related article: FBI’s ICCC Annual Report Discusses Fraudulent and Non-Fraudulent Complaints

» SPAMfighter News - 12/24/2008

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