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Social Media Scammers to Double Holiday Profit, Bitdefender Warns

Bianca STANESCU

December 24, 2013

Social Media Scammers to Double Holiday Profit, Bitdefender Warns

The number of Christmas scams flooding Facebook has almost doubled this year from last year, according to Bitdefender. A scan of timelines worldwide shows that social media scammers are likely to double their profits during the holidays.

Facebook users are also exposed to over 10,000 free voucher scams that promise gifts for loved ones but deliver fraudulent surveys designed to grab their money and financial details.

“There are two simple steps that will ruin your Christmas: click on a free voucher scam, and complete the `intelligence` surveys that ask for your credentials and your mom`s maiden name,” Bitdefender Chief Security Strategist Catalin Cosoi said. “Not even Santa Claus will help you recover the money and personal details you lose.”

Social Media Scammers to Double Holiday Profit, Bitdefender Warns At the same time, social media users are hit with over 130 charity and donation scams that spread from one timeline to another. Charity scams increased with 10 per cent as last Christmas, according to Bitdefender Safego researchers. To convince users to donate money online, cyber-criminals go as far as using heart-wrenching photos of disfigured children and images of bed-riddled cancer victims, which they steal from the Internet.

Security specialists from Bitdefender warn social media users to think twice before clicking on dubious Christmas messages that ask them to complete endless surveys. By keeping their software updated, including their antivirus solution, they will also be protected from malicious and fraudulent links spreading during the holidays.

Users may also install the Bitdefender free application Safego that will protect them and their friends from the latest online threats, scams, spam, malware and private data exposure on Facebook.

This article is based on the technical information provided courtesy of Steliana Goga, Bitdefender Online Threats Analyst.

All product and company names mentioned herein are for identification purposes only and are the property of, and may be trademarks of, their respective owners.

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