Labor Day is here! And many of us are looking forward to a well-deserved break from our daily grind. It's a time for family barbecues, late summer getaways, or simply staycationing in the comfort of our homes. But it’s also time for scams.
We live in an increasingly online-powered world, and the risks of identity theft and cyberthreats loom large. The idea that someone could access our personal information and wreak havoc on our financial lives is, understandably, a source of anxiety for many of us. This is where LifeLock is doing the hard work—taking on the heavy lifting when it comes to credit monitoring, identity theft detection, and restoration.
Labor Day comes with deals—and scams
While we’re relaxing at home this weekend, it’s inevitable that email, television, social media, and the internet will fall over themselves to present us with big sales and discount opportunities. Some of those deals might well be what you’ve been waiting for (I definitely need a new couch) but be vigilant: Labor Day brings out the scammers, too.
Mixed in with offers like “10% Off” and “Free Shipping,” you’ll may find a barrage of phishing emails, fake websites, and scams designed to collect as much of your personal information as possible. That info, in turn, can be used to make purchases, create new accounts, and generally cause you a lot of trouble down the road.
Emails are still one of the most common and successful tools that scammers use to find their way into your life. Scammers use email to reach thousands of people every day, hoping that maybe just a few will fall for their promise of a coupon code in a downloadable file (loaded with malware) or who will call their customer service line with their credit card ready (it’s not customer service).
Sale and shopping scams, usually found through online advertisements and scam emails, can also be problematic around the holidays. In this case, hackers create fake online storefronts and shopping carts. Luring victims in with the promise of great deals, the website collects a person’s personal information, credit card information, and might even ask them to create an account in the hopes that you re-use passwords on other sites.
Text scams, also called “smishing,” can also pop up while you’re enjoying a cool weekend off. In this case, a potential victim receives a text message promising a sale or discount, followed by a link. Tapping on the link confirms to the hacker that they found a valid phone number, someone willing to tap on the link and leads you to a fake website or online purchase in hopes of stealing your information.
Keep your guard up around the holidays
As always, healthy skepticism is one of the best defenses against holiday scams. As the saying goes, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Be skeptical of ads and online offers you see. If an ad is from a big retailer, go to the retailer’s website on your own (without clicking any links) and see if the deal is there.
Online in general, never enter any personal information on websites that you don’t recognize, are poorly designed, or just set off your sense that something isn’t right. Even if those sites are legitimate, shoddy design out front can indicate shoddy security behind the scenes.
When checking emails, be sure that you know the red flags that can give away potential scams.
And if you’re interested in taking advantage of AI-powered scam detection, we’ve recommend checking out Genie – a free scam detection tool for your smartphone. Using Norton’s 30 years of security experience, Norton Genie can scan and review text messages, emails, websites, and social posts. It then provides instant advice on whether the message or site is potentially a scam.
Keep a watchful eye on your credit
For most of us, our financial details are already out there…scattered around online shopping websites, auction marketplaces, and even our bank accounts. While these tech-driven services offer us convenience, they also create opportunities for identity thieves. Making sure that your financial details haven’t been stolen can take up time, effort, and worry. That’s why it's a great idea to monitor your credit.
A good monitoring service keeps an eye on an array of networks and databases, keeping you alerted to any unusual activities related to your credit. This could be anything from suspicious charges or sudden surges on your credit card bill, to someone trying to open a new loan or credit account in your name.
It’s Labor Day, let us do the work
Labor Day is a recognition and celebration of the hard work and contributions of millions of Americans. It's a day that reminds us of the value of rest and relaxation, of taking a step back and appreciating our efforts. And just as we deserve this break, we deserve peace of mind, especially concerning our identities.
So sit back, relax, and LifeLock do the work! You deserve the day off.