Coupons too good to be true? Beware of scammers

CBS Newspath

NEW YORK — It’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, but scammers are lurking waiting to prey and ruin your holiday. Their first stop — your email inbox with coupons that are just too good to be true.

“Always go to the website of the company that you’re looking at. Don’t click on anything from an email. If you get an email go to the site to see if it’s legitimate.”

Kevin Mabry, CEO of Sentree Systems said the emails are more sophisticated and look real. The goal is to get malware on your computer and access your data. And gift card lovers beware — thieves are now scratching off the real bar code, taking a picture of it and replacing it with a fake. So when you go to buy the card, they’ve already used it to make online purchases.

“If it’s in the store I personally would ask a teller to get me one from back in the back because they could be tampered with or get one from the actual back of the stack of them because the ones that will be tampered with will be the first ones.”

And we’ve witnessed those big box store data breaches. So if shopping with small businesses is your way to avoid that — well now they’re also a target.

“Hackers are trying to get malware on smaller clients and smaller mom and pop shops. They’re going after them— the ones that do not have the chip on your card. If they don’t have the chip reader don’t use your card there because they’re trying to get malware on those actual devices, the card reader to steal data.”