“You always have to be careful with offers, especially on dates like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. If a promotion comes along that seems too good to be true, chances are it’s fake.”explains Camilo Gutiérrez Amaya, Head of the ESET Latin America Research Laboratory.
Scams are disguised as discounts, promotions, free products or promotional coupons that, in order to access, require you to fill in the registration with confidential information. Once the information is sent, the user does not receive what was initially promised and their information is stolen. “The main forms of information theft are related to techniques such as phishing or malware, which consist of obtaining confidential information, such as passwords or financial data. By following some security tips, we can reduce the chances of falling for any of these fraud attempts.”, adds the executive.
First of all, from ESET they recommend using a trusted device to buy online, be it a computer, a tablet or a smartphone. In addition, it is important to keep the operating system and software up to date to avoid vulnerabilities.
Another good practice is to install a security solution trustworthy that, ideally, can also offer protection for online banking and payments. These types of solutions include modules to detect fraudulent websites and also offer the ability to block threats such as phishing, as well as detect and block malware.
“In addition, especially in these seasonal periods, which arouse great interest on the part of users, criminals often use the image of a well-known company or e-commerce to try to deceive consumers. These types of campaigns are carried out from emails, messaging applications or any form of current interaction.”, Amaya points out.
According to ESET, when shopping on websites, special attention should be paid to:
- All incoming messages about promotions. To recognize fraud, the user must look at the sender of the message, the context and, above all, analyze the link indicated to access. It is recommended to verify this information from official and legitimate sources, to be more sure before purchasing products or services that are received by mail or messages.
- Secure connection. Not all Internet connections are secure enough to make online payments. Public Wi-Fi networks are not the best options for shopping online. A safer alternative is to access private and trusted networks.
- Check the URL. To avoid falling for scams, the website address should be checked carefully, as fraudulent pages often use different URLs than the official ones. It is best to always write the URL directly in the address bar of the browser, avoiding accessing it from links that arrive by email or messages.
- Page structure. It is advisable to pay attention to the changes in the operation and appearance of the sites, since no matter how much they try to look like the official ones, some aspects can reveal the fraudulent action of the scammers. Headers and dropdowns that function incorrectly or with inconsistent information can be a sign that something is wrong.
- Use virtual credit cards or secure payment services. However, it is best to make an online purchase with a credit card or through an online payment service, since it does not imply the use of money from the current account. Even in case of fraudulent operation, the bank or the service will be able to recognize the fraud.