Keep Your Holidays Safe

holiday fraud security

Many consumers shifted to online shopping with retail store closures and safety/wellness concerns. Unfortunately, the combination of increased online shopping, desperation to get deals, and tracking their purchases create a ripe environment for cybercriminals. Scammers craft very convincing phishing attacks via email or text messages alerting consumers to order updates, shipping delays, and other mishaps.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) warns that these package delivery attacks can steal personal and financial information. According to cybersecurity company Proofpoint, researchers have found a significant increase in holiday-themed attacks.

For example:

A shipping notification scam is where a fraudster contacts the victim claiming to be a mail carrier, delivery service, retailer, or e-commerce brand via phone, email, or text message and says that they were unable to deliver a package as expected.

The messages will have a link to a false tracking number, which either directs the user to a phishing website or directly downloads malware (malicious software) onto the device used to access the message.

The messages often imitate the branding of large courier companies which can add to their perceived legitimacy. Additionally, the messages typically ask the intended victims to verify private information and payment details to “reschedule” the delivery as an attempt to commit identity or financial fraud.

In a different variation, false package delivery notifications have attachments with once clicked to open, install malware like ransomware on the individual device or network.

Report all suspected scams

  • Be suspicious of “urgent” or “immediate” response needed or “unauthorized login attempt” of your account.
  • Report the scam to the Federal Trade Commission. Call 1-877-382-4357 or report the fraud at You can also report a scam to Florida’s consumer protection agency.
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