FBI center warns consumers how to avoid scams during Black Friday, holiday shopping

There aren't many brand new schemes, but scammers pull off the old ones with whole new elan

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None of those results will help your loved one sail through checkout happily with a present of their own choosing. More likely they'll be disappointed and maybe stuck in a side room for questioning about the fraudulent card.

Phishing and Social Networking

    1. Do. Not Believe. Your. Email.

  • If a friend or acquaintance or friend-of-a-friend is in trouble – stuck in an airport, in a small town with a broken down car, in Nigeria with billions in cash to sneak out of the country – phone them or have them phone you. Do not believe sob stories in email. Even if they look true. Go straight to the source to make sure it's your friend who's in trouble, not whoever responds to that email.
    • 2. Do. Not. Click. On. Links. You. Get. Through. The. Mail. From. Strangers.
    • Or from friends. If they sound the least bit odd, or it's not part of an ongoing conversation, retype the URL in your own browser to avoid the hidden redirect to a malware-soaked web site that could infect your PC with viruses that swipe your credit card numbers when you buy a present and sends itself to all your contacts to infect them as well.
    • That's not a good present for anyone.
      3. Repeat 1 and 2.
    • Write it on a stickie note and stick it to your monitor. Email increases in volume and pathos around the holidays. Many of them are both true and laudable. They're still unsolicited email looking for donations from strangers.
    • The rest are scams from gangs also looking for donations from strangers, but for causes that are not as hygienic.
      4. Do. Not. Open. Attachments. Or. Pictures. From. Strangers.
    • Everyone knows this. Everyone does it anyway. Don't
      5. Do not believe any email from your bank or credit-card company, phone company, utility or any other company you deal with is actually from that company.
    • If there's a problem that requires that you "resolve account information," call them about it. You'll clear any problems up more quickly.
    • Even if you think it's legit and want to go to the site, don't click on the link provided. Type it in separately. Then double-check that it's actually the site by looking up your own account information, not by re-typing it into a site that looks like your bank, but probably isn't.

    Personal information

    The IC3 advises that if you get a request from a legitimate-sounding organization asking for personal information like your phone number, address, or even to confirm your email address, you should look up the contact information from a phone book or other source rather than using what's in the email.

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    PCWorld

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