Robert Siciliano identity theft expert

Cybercriminals Take Advantage of the Holiday Season, Aiming to Steal Consumers’ Money, Identities and Financial Information

As cybercriminals begin to take advantage of the holiday season, McAfee, Inc. revealed the “Twelve Scams of Christmas” – the twelve most dangerous online scams that computer users should be cautious of this holiday season. According to Consumer Reports’ 2009 State of the Net Survey, cybercriminals have bilked $8 billion from consumers in the past two years, and McAfee warns consumers not to fall victim to the top scams this year.

Being that I’m on McAfee’s Consumer Advisory Board, I’m advising you to adhere to the following:

Previous first 3 of Twelve Scams of Christmas here. McAfee’s 3 more of Twelve Scams of Christmas below.

Scam VII: Christmas Carol Lyrics Can Be Dangerous – Risky Holiday Searches

During the holidays, hackers create fraudulent holiday-related Web sites for people searching for a holiday ringtone or wallpaper, Christmas carol lyrics or a festive screensaver. Downloading holiday-themed files may infect one’s computer with spyware, adware or other malware. McAfee found one Christmas carol download site that led searchers to adware, spyware and other potentially unwanted programs.

Scam VIII: Out of Work – Job-Related E-mail Scams

The U.S. unemployment rate recently spiked to 10.2 per cent, the highest level since 1983. Scammers are preying on desperate job-seekers in the poor economy, with the promise of high-paying jobs and work-from-home moneymaking opportunities. Once interested persons submit their information and pay their “set-up” fee, hackers steal their money instead of following through on the promised employment opportunity.

Scam IX: Outbidding for Crime – Auction Site Fraud

Scammers often lurk on auction sites during the holiday season. Buyers should beware of auction deals that appear too good to be true, because often times these purchases never reach their new owner.

Stay tuned to part IV.

Get a credit freeze. Go online now and search “credit freeze” or “security freeze” and go to consumersunion.org and follow the steps for the state you live in. This is an absolutely necessary tool to secure your credit. In most cases it prevents new accounts from being opened in your name. This makes the SSN useless to the thief.

Invest in Intelius Identity Theft Protection and Protection. While not all forms of identity theft can be prevented, you can effectively manage your personal identifying information by knowing what’s buzzing out there in regards to YOU.

Robert Siciliano, identity theft speaker, discusses Viruses in Christmas Gifts on FOX News

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