During the holidays, we see an increase in online scams and fraud. Protect your information by always using caution when browsing online. Here are some ways to protect yourself and avoid potential security breaches, identity theft, or financial loss:

  • E-cards from unknown senders: These try to trick you into thinking an unidentified friend has sent a holiday greeting, but they may contain malicious links. If you do not know who sent it, do not open it.

  • Fake shipping notifications: If you receive an attempted delivery notice for a package you did not order, do not click the links.

  • Requests to support phony causes: Email messages and fraudulent posts on social networking sites asking for donations may appear to come from friends, family or legitimate people when in reality they are not.

Do not follow unsolicited links or download attachments from unknown sources. If an email or website looks suspect (often phony sites and emails have spelling and grammar mistakes, or strange information in the To and From fields) trust your instincts and do not click.

Refer to these tips to learn more about Shopping Safely Online, Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks, and Protecting Personal Internet-Enabled Devices.

For information on charity scams, visit the Federal Trade Commission website.