Sunday, April 11

Phishing scams, fraud targets holiday shoppers

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Online shopping can be convenient, but experts say shoppers should be on high alert for email scams this holiday season. 

Shoppers, beware: Scammers want in on your holiday spending budget.

Consumers are expected to spend about 4.3 percent to 4.8 percent more this holiday season than last year, up to $720.89 billion total, according to the National Retail Federation.

That’s an attractive target for thieves.

“People need to be more aware this time of year,” said Katherine Hutt, a national spokeswoman for the Better Business Bureau. “They’re rushing and trying to get a lot done, and scammers will take advantage of that opportunity.”

Online fraud attempts rose 22 percent between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve last year, according to payment systems company ACI Worldwide. Between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday alone, malware infections jumped 123 percent, per reports from Enigma Software Group’s anti-malware SpyHunter software.

Here are some of the seasonal scams the BBB is warning consumers to watch out for, and how to fraud-proof your holiday shopping plans.

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