Be aware of phishing attacks close to big shopping days

Amazon’s Prime Day sales have recently concluded, and represented a particularly one of the biggest shopping days of the year. However, both it and other significant shopping days, such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Boxing Day, are often targets of phishing attacks and scams. McAfee recently reported on a phishing kit they’ve been observing used to target Apple users in both Japan and the United States.

How are these scams effective?

There are several reasons that combine to make these particular phishing attacks as effective as they are. Companies involved in such sales will often send out a large number of newsletter emails to their subscribers to let them know about deals. Phishing emails are easily grouped in with the rest of these and more sophisticated phishing emails mimic the look of a legitimate email, complete with a company logo. Another factor is the sense of urgency created by a sale, which can end in as quickly as a few hours. That kind of urgency can compromise one’s decision making, which scammers will capitalize on.

How can you protect yourself?

Avoid clicking links in any emails if possible. If you must click a link in a particular email, be sure to hover over it first to verify that the link is legitimate.