Holiday Shoppers Beware. Increased Spam and Scam Activity is Being Reported.

By Eric Andring, Information Security Officer, Bell State Bank & Trust

We have seen an increase in spam and scam messages lately. This seems to be a characteristic of the holiday season. We are asking all customers to be cautious with websites you visit and how you manage emails.

Here are some of the various spam subjects being used in text messages and emails:

Subject:  IN STORE ONLY: Get a $10 Gift Card (see details inside)

Subject:  The Must-Have Shopping App

Subject:  DOOR BUSTERS start online NOW | Plus, FREE shipping!

Subject:  1-Week Preview Sale

Subject:  Confirm Your Subscription

Subject:  Social Security Disability

Subject:  New Cars Deeply Discounted

Expect to see ones like these too:

Subject: You have received a Christmas Greeting Card!

Subject: Cash for the New Year

Subject: Xmas Loan offer

Subject: CheckOutOurAwesomeWinterDeals,DiscountsAndSpecialOfffersForTheNewYear

Here are several ways you can help prevent cyber security vulnerabilities:

  • Only go to reputable or “known” websites.
  • Do not open attachments or click on web links within emails unless you are sure the message is from someone you know and trust. Doing these things with unsolicited email is often the “key” method attackers use to gain control of your computer or infect it with a virus or other malware.
  • Make sure your antivirus program is up-to-date.
  • Never reply to unsolicited emails or pop-up websites asking for sensitive personal information.
  • If you are uncertain about an email you receive from a company, protect yourself by going directly to the company’s website or contacting the company directly via phone rather than using a link provided in the email.

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