"The consumerization of IT and widespread use of mobile technology and social networking, both at work and at home, have increased the risk of financial fraud and identity theft " especially during the holidays," said Mark Cohn, vice president, enterprise security, Unisys. "While scammers are seemingly everywhere this time of the year, consumers and businesses can do a lot to protect themselves from fraudulent activities. By taking some relatively simple precautions, everyone can maximize the chances that they will beat the cheats!"
The dangers of online fraud continue to grow. The number of Americans falling victim to identity theft increased 22 percent to a record 9.9 million in 2008, losing $48 billion in the process, according to Javelin Strategy & Research.
Meanwhile, online shopping on the job will continue to be popular. This year, 53.5 percent of workers with Internet access, or 68.8 million people, will shop for holiday gifts from work, according to Shop.org.
The bi-annual Unisys Security Index reported this month that, in the nine countries covered in the survey, the top security concerns of consumers are bank card fraud and identity theft. The percentage of Americans who are seriously concerned about the security of their online transactions rose to 42 percent, the highest level since the Unisys Security Index began two years ago.
Unisys identified 10 of the most prevalent scams that can lead to financial fraud or identity theft during the holidays. They are listed below, in no particular order, along with tips on how to avoid them.