Holiday Shopping, Star Wars and Syrian Refugees


According to a recent report by Adobe, Cyber Monday—the online bargain extravaganza that falls on Nov. 30 this year—will hit $3 billion in sales for the first time, with Black Friday trailing closely behind at $2.7 billion.

Considering the tremendous amount of financial data processed during the holiday shopping season in both online and brick-and-mortar stores, it’s important to keep your guard up

California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris (D) has offered safe shopping tips for this holiday season. She advised:


  • reviewing bank and credit card statements for unusual transactions;
  • being wary of e-mails with an attached file;
  • shopping only on secure websites;
  • avoiding making online purchases using public Wi-Fi hotspots; and
  • never sending sensitive personal or financial information through e-mail.


But there’s more. In addition to the increase in shopping traffic, scammers are poised to take advantage of projected blockbuster movies and ongoing global tragedies, according to CSO, which provides news, analysis and research on security issues.

CSO has warned of “like-farming scams” on Facebook—where users are tricked into “liking pages” so they seem popular and can be resold, possibly to sales scammers—that exploit pictures of Syrian refugees. Then there are phishing attacks that try to dupe consumers into winning movie tickets for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” set for release Dec. 18.

’Tis the season to be . . .  paranoid?

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