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Susan Tompor: Cyber scams tempt holiday shoppers

Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press on

Published in Home and Consumer News

Cyber Monday is the Monday after Thanksgiving. But many holiday shoppers hunt for deals via their smartphones and laptops long before the family cook preps the turkey for the oven or deep fryer.

Why wait for Black Friday -- or Cyber Monday -- to shop? After all, holiday shopping deals are all over the place already. But if you think you're too smart to get caught by a scammer, think again.

Two in five U.S. consumers have fallen victim to an online phishing attack, according to a 2017 Cyber Monday Phishing Survey by DomainTools.

It still happens even though 91 percent of consumers are aware that crooks will create spoofed websites or send phishing emails that impersonate trusted, big name retailers or brands, according to the Seattle-based company that helps organizations and security analysts map criminal activity and prevent cyber attacks.

So it's not overkill to warn shoppers once again to be a little paranoid when they spot a too-good-to-be-true deal online.

Here's how to avoid getting scammed during the holiday shopping frenzy:


–– Stop chasing any and all deals.

"We live in an age where we have all these push notifications and emails," said Steve Koenig, senior director of market research at the Consumer Technology Association, a trade group in Arlington, Va.

The volume of such activity during the holidays, he said, makes consumers even more vulnerable to clicking on a $100 coupon before thinking twice.

"We're all moving super fast, we get distracted," said Tim Helming, director of product management at DomainTools.


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