'Tis the season for shopping, time spent with friends and family, and preparations to celebrate the holidays. As most of us plan for the coming season, cyber criminals are looking for opportunities to catch victims off guard and steal valuable personal information. People looking to supplement their gift-giving budget with a seasonal holiday job should take a close look at job listings before pursuing offers found online or in their email inboxes. Job scams target those looking for part-time holiday work, specifically aiming to steal personally identifiable information that is often requested on applications for employment. We have observed mass spam email-based job scams using branding from well-known retailers such as Target and Walmart that commonly offer seasonal employment.
It should come as no surprise that the holiday season inevitably means an increase in scams and financial fraud. Long gone are the years where we only needed to worry about theft as a result of home burglaries and car break-ins. We not only need to worry about leaving store purchases and gifts in plain view in our cars or homes, but our credit card information being transmitted in plain text via payment services, and the ever increasing threat of phishing and ecommerce scams targeting holiday shoppers.