Urgent Christmas warning issued to anyone who owns an iPhone or Android

GADGET users are being warned over dangerous Christmas scams – don’t get caught out.

Cyber-experts have issued an alert over five common cons and how to avoid them.

Keep your personal data safe from cybercrooks

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Keep your personal data safe from cybercrooksCredits: Google

Christmas is a popular time for scamming: people are jolly and ready to spend money.

But that means you have to be on high alert, otherwise you may fall foul of a dangerous rage.

“The holiday season is a very enticing time for shopping. However, with this encouragement comes an opportunity for scammers to take advantage of people’s willingness to spend money,” said Ariana Bag, a fraud analyst at Proxyrack.

“With this in mind, it’s important to remain a vigilante and aware of any potential scams that may come your way.”

Five common scams to look out for

The first common online scam is related to suspicious links.

You might get these via an email or text message to your iPhone or Android.

But if it doesn’t seem legitimate, don’t click it.

Always check to see if the phone number or email address of the sender matches up to the company they’re claiming to be from.

Next up are browser extensions – which are often safe, but not always.

You may be tempted by a “money-saving” browser extension.

But these can often be developed by scammers to steal your private data.

Third up is billing scams. This is where someone sends you a message pretending to be a company you’ve bought something from.

They’ll often claim that your payment failed and that you need to update your information immediately.

“The best way to avoid losing money to this form of fraud is to contact the company or your bank directly to request more information on the issue,” said cyber-expert Ariana.

“These scams will often come with a sense of urgency, stating that if you don’t send the details over straight away you will miss out on the deal and savings – this is another sign that these claims are fake.”

Fourth is unfamiliar websitesbecause scammers will often create fake pages offering products at very cheap prices.

But this is usually a use to steal your bank details.

“It is also important to be cautious about the websites you’re ordering from, the deals may look great until you realize they’re actually a way for scammers to access your personal information and bank details,” Ariana explained.

“Double-check the website URL before ordering anything to make sure it’s the official company site and if you don’t recognize the name of the company, I would recommend avoiding it completely.”

Fifth and finally, be wary of verification code scams.

This is when hackers try to get your two-factor authentication code that lets you log into websites.

They might pose as a company – or even a friend or family member – asking for your code.

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Never ever share a verification code that you’ve received via text with anyone. It is almost always a scam.

Remember: the trusted person you think is asking for your code may have been hacked themselves.

Featured Image Credit: Android / Unsplash / The Sun

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