The holidays are upon us, but it’s not all gift giving, tree trimming and eggnog drinking. This is also the time of year when scammers come out in force. While OpenDNS is the single best way to protect yourself and your loves ones from phishing and forgeries, education is key. To complement our great phishing quiz my colleague Erin posted about here, we’ve compiled a list of the most common, and tricky, holiday phishing scams. Brush up, take note and avoid getting duped.

Scam: Air Travel Deals

With so many travelers still scrambling to buy last-minute air tickets, it’s important to be extremely careful when clicking through to an airline’s website from a promotional email. Phishing websites like this one spoofing American Airlines are not legitimate. The URL for this one, www.aa-advantager.com, is the giveaway — even though it’s close to the real domain (www.aa.com).

Scam: Holiday Shopping

If you’re like me, you’re doing most of your holiday shopping online this year. So it’s no surprise that scammers are spoofing websites like eBay (one of the most spoofed brands in phishing scams all year long) and trying to trick shoppers into entering their login credentials. When doing shopping online, the safest way to get to your destination site is to type its URL directly into your address bar.

Scam: Money Transfers

For better or worse, lots of people skip the gift buying altogether and just give cash. That’s why we’re including money transfer-themed phishes on our list. We can’t stress enough: any time you deal in currency online, be extra careful. The safest way to get to a website is to type its URL straight into your address bar.

Scam: Connect with Loved Ones

No doubt Skype usage increases during the holidays when the revolutionary service is used to see the smiling faces of family members abroad. But we all need to take great caution when phishes this sophisticated exist. Note that while the URL (http://skype.host.org/account/signin_form.php) is very convincing, it’s not the real Skype domain.

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