Over the last several years, shoppers increasingly chose to do holiday shopping online. Last year – while the COVID-19 pandemic was raging – e-commerce spending set records, with $10.8 billion in sales on Cyber Monday 2020 alone. Supply chain issues have impacted customers this year, with shipping delays causing nervous online shoppers to purchase gifts earlier this year with hopes of delivery by the holidays. During the holiday season, phishing and SMiShing (text-based phishing) scams abound, attempting to dupe targets into opening malicious links or attachments in order to deliver malware or steal sensitive information. Several reports have recently been submitted to the NJCCIC detailing these attempts targeting NJ citizens.
The NJCCIC highly advises online shoppers to refrain from clicking links delivered in unverified emails or SMS texts. Instead, it is recommended for users to navigate directly to official e-commerce and shipping websites to track their packages. Additionally, do not submit user credentials or other sensitive information into websites navigated to via unsolicited emails or text messages. More holiday cyber safety tips can be found in the NJCCIC Informational Report “Stay Cyber Safe This Holiday Season.”