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Phishing Scams Increase After Christmas - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Phishing Scams Increase After Christmas

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     Our love affair with mobile devices grew tremendously this past holiday, but with it come some old headaches and potential dangers.

     Nearly 17.5 million smartphones and tablets were activated Christmas Day, the highest number of activations ever to occur in one day. Unfortunately, that also means more targets for hackers and scammers.

"On every single device where you can get a communication, there's someone who's willing to put a fraudulent message out to lure you in," said Michelle Dennedy, Chief Privacy Officer with McAfee Internet Security. "[Victims] get a link that's sent to them via text, and it'll say 'this is a great new offer, click here,' and then they'll be infected by malware."

     Dennedy at goes so far as to say that kids have become the target of choice for hackers.

Kids have become the target of choice for hackers.

     But adults are still falling prey too, like at work, through what's called "spearphishing" -- that's where someone posing as your boss e-mails you.

Dennedy says, "It'll say something like, 'Urgent, I need you in my office now! Take a look at this spreadsheet.' And as an employee who likes to continue to be employed, you're gonna want to click on that."

     And when you do click, you give access to your company's IT unit.

     Experts say mobile phishing scams are on the increase because the scammers have become more mobile, too.

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