I’ve written over the years about the proliferation around the holidays of scams and phishing schemes. The scammers count on consumers being so busy during the holiday season that they become less vigilant about protecting their personal and financial information.

Ryan Francis has written an excellent article compiling 10 of the scams that occur regularly during the holidays (www.csoonline.com; “10 top holiday phishing scams”; November 21). In his article, Mr. Francis cites the 6 holiday threats identified by Jon French, security analyst at AppRiver.

Mr. Francis’ article is worth reading for more details. Here’s a quick list of the threats identified by Mr. French:

  1. Fake purchase invoices;
  2. Fake shipping status messages that contain malware;
  3. Flyers and sales deals that come via emails: these are tricky as there will be some legitimate flyers and sales information during the holidays.
  4. Fake but legitimate looking links and urls: these are constants throughout the year but scammers know busy consumers might not take the time to check to see if the link and/or url look suspicious;
  5. Hacked bank accounts: consumers need to always be careful but especially during the holidays; make sure to check  at ATMs for “skimmer” devices; and
  6. Fake email surveys that offer money or gift cards to consumers for filling them out; doing so could mean infecting your computer with malware.

As the old saying goes, crime never takes a holiday. So be extra vigilant this holiday season.