Carefully check apps, emails to avoid holiday scams - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Carefully check apps, emails to avoid holiday scams

(Source: file photo) (Source: file photo)
(WWBT) -

Retailers aren't the only ones hoping for your holiday dollars - scammers are out and really good this year. 

Retail apps can be a great way to score special deals at your favorite stores, but before you download one, check it carefully.

Cyber security experts at Risk IQ spotted more than 32,000 malicious apps playing off legitimate retail brands to dupe consumers.

And 1 in 25 apps found under a "Black Friday" search in app stores were dangerous.

Scammers are upping their email game, too.

A security firm called Barracuda Networks says emails that look like they're from Amazon, Walmart, Kohl's, Ray-Ban and Michael Kors are circulating right now.

They're offering discounts of up to 80 percent off, with a handy "Buy" button. Unfortunately, that "Buy" button takes you to a malicious website that infects your device.

Even worse, hackers loaded malicious hyperlinks into every piece of those emails, so just clicking on a photo to look more closely will get you into trouble.

An estimated two out of every five online shoppers has fallen for a phony retail website.

Research any app thoroughly before you download it, and don't click on any "Deals" emails you get.

Another smart move is to set alerts on your bank and credit cards, so you're notified each time they're used. That will help you detect any fraud.

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