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Lookout for Online Scammers this Holiday Season

Ever notice those annoying ads at the beginning of your search result history? Those could be more dangerous than you think. Scammers can use ads or sponsored links to appear higher up in web searches to appear legitimate and most relevant.

Copycat pages mimic real websites and really do look like your favorite sites. Sites can use pop-ups once you are on them to claim you have “viruses” or important updates needed to “fix” your device.

Here are some tips on how to prevent being swindled:

  1. Go with your gut: If something feels off, it probably is. Legitimate companies like Microsoft will never ask for your banking information, ask you to buy gift cards, or ask you to call them for support. If you don't remember ordering from a particular site, verify your order on that site's webpage, not from an email.

  2. Check the URL: Make sure there are no misspellings in the URL or odd domain extension (TLD) that are not your typical .com or .org. Also take note if the website is in English but filled with grammar and typo mistakes. Check if the website starts with https://, the ‘s’ standing for secure.

  3. Check your sources: Legitimate sites will have legitimate reviews online. If the site is something you have never seen before, do a web search by using: [brand name] + review or [brand name] + scam to see if anyone else has reported anything suspicious.

Legitimate companies have tips to determine if a text, phone call, or email is legitimately from their websites. Below are some additional resources directly from popular retailors and shipping companies purchased during the holidays:

Remember, if it sounds fishy, it's probably phishy!

Interested in learning how TIC can help protect your business? Contact us by clicking here!


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