The 12 Scams of Christmas

December 3, 2018 9:15 am Geraldine Strawbridge

Phishing scams are a persistent problem for organisations at all times of the year; however, there is a steep increase in the number of scams at Christmas as cybercriminals take advantage of distracted staff to launch targeted attacks.

When we’re distracted, mistakes happen, and Christmas tends to be the one time of the year when employees let their guard down which can result in a massive loss of sensitive data.

During the holiday season, inboxes are flooded with eCards, messages from friends and family, delivery notifications from online-retailers and fraudsters use this flurry of online activity to launch mass phishing scams.

As the festive season approaches, organisations must ensure that staff remain vigilant of phishing attacks, delivered not only through external sources, but also through what appears to be legitimate internal communications, such as emails from senior management or the latest updates on the Christmas party.

Most employees will not even think twice opening an email from their boss; however, this is one of the more devious ways the crooks will try to trick staff into opening malicious links. Cybercriminals will often use a familiar internal email address but slightly alter one letter so that it’s extremely hard to distinguish between an authentic company email or a well-crafted fake.

Staff need to be on their guard to ensure they are prepared to deal with the influx of seasonal phishing scams, and the best way to do this is to become familiar with the most frequently used attack methods at this time of year.

Over the next 12 days we will highlight some of the most popular and cunning scams that fraudsters will use throughout the festive season.