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US-CERT Alerts Users to Holiday Phishing Scams and Malware Campaigns

US-CERT (United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team) reminds users to remain vigilant when browsing online this holiday season. E-cards from unknown senders may contain malicious links. Fake advertisements or shipping notifications may deliver infected attachments. Spoofed e-mail messages and fraudulent posts on social networking sites may request support for phony causes.

To avoid seasonal campaigns that could result in security breaches, identity theft, or financial loss, US-CERT encourages users to take the following action:


  • Approach similar content with caution. Do not follow unsolicited links or download attachments from unknown sources.

  • Refer to our security Tips to learn more about Shopping Safely Online, Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks, and Protecting Personal Internet-Enabled Devices.

  • For information on charity scams, visit the Federal Trade Commision website.

If you believe you are a victim of a Holiday Phishing scam or Malware campaign, consider the following actions:

  • File a complaint with the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).
  • Report the attack to the police, and file a report with the Federal Trade Commission.
  • Contact your financial institution immediately and close any accounts that may have been compromised. Watch for any unexplainable charges to your account.
  • Immediately change any passwords you might have revealed. If you used the same password for multiple resources, make sure to change it for each account, and do not use that password in the future.