On the third day of Christmas… You gave your personal data to me!

December 7, 2018 11:56 am Ernest Bankhead

Cybercriminals are all too aware that Christmas is a busy time for shopping as people rush to buy last-minute gifts for their nearest and dearest. Inevitably, with our increasing reliance on online shopping and online-only special offers, deliveries at this time of year are a frequent occurrence. Different retailers use their own preferred delivery service which can make it confusing and difficult to keep track of individual orders.

The crooks know this and use phone calls and phishing emails to trick you into giving away your valuable personal details. The reality is that most of us will be expecting a delivery of some sort, so, unfortunately, it’s easy to get caught out.  

It’s a good idea to be wary of any calls asking you to confirm information that the shipping or delivery company should already have. It’s always good practice to validate the person on the phone. Ask if you can call them back, take their name and a reference number, then return the call using the official telephone number listed on the company’s website. Never call them back on the number they give you. 

Special care should be taken with email too. Phishing emails are rife at this time of year so you should always double-check any suspicious emails that come into your inbox. Red flags can include; the use of urgent language, spelling mistakes, poor grammar, claims of prizes or a request for personal information.

Email delivery notifications should be treated with care, especially if they encourage you to click on a link to confirm your details. 

Remember cybercriminals don’t just want your financial details, they want any personally identifiable information that can be used to commit identity fraud.