Scammers target online holiday shoppers
MANILA -Cybersecurity company Kaspersky warned against the scammers taking advantage of the holiday season as online shopping surges due to the usual increase in appetite for spending, especially on gifts for friends and family.
Tatyana Kulikova, security expert at Kaspersky, told the Inquirer that cybercriminals were doubling down on efforts in launching phishing activities in the last quarter.
“It’s the season when people make impulse purchases and rash decisions. The pressure to get a good deal or buy presents can mean that online shoppers are distracted — making them less prepared for a cyber incident and making it easier for hackers to take advantage of them,” Kulikova said.
“For organizations, this is the time of the year when many of their IT (information technology) staff are on vacation, too, and cybercriminals capitalize on this knowledge,” she added.
Kulikova noted that typical phishing attacks during the holidays were in the guise of gifts and holiday greetings.
Such cyberthreats, usually launched via emails and mobile messages, contain suspicious links which will lead users to phishing sites. In these websites, users can be tricked into providing their personal information like bank account and contact details.
Experts have always warned against clicking into said links because hackers can use the illegally obtained information for account takeover.
The Kaspersky representative said that text scams, a form of phishing, have remained persistent even with the implementation of SIM (subscriber identity module) card registration in the country. This measure removes the hackers’ anonymity.