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Hackers Target Father's Day Online Offerings

Hackers Target Father's Day Online Offerings
June 11, 2013
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With Father's Day right around the corner, sons and daughters will be flocking to online retail websites to track down the perfect gift for their dads. But buyers beware—identity thieves try to target online shoppers through spam emails filled with Father's Day gift ideas, according to a recent blog post by Symantec.

These spam offers try to encourage consumers to make purchases by offering special discounts or hot products. However, the link to these supposed offers takes buyers to a page asking for personal information—info that is then used to steal someone's identity.

Symantec has identified some email messages this year sent to consumers that are bogus offers. These emails are from:

  • "Personalized Father's Day Gifts"
  • Quick Father Gifts
  • Cigars for Dad
  • Fathers Day Cigars

Subject lines of these phony gift offer emails include:

  • 15 Cigars for 29.95 (68% off Fathers Day sale!)
  • The perfect gift for Fathers day only costs 32% of the original price!
  • Regarding Father's Day orders
  • Personalized Gifts for All The Dads In Your Life
  • Top Personalized Fathers Day Gifts
  • Get relief from chronic spine conditions. Father's Day Discount Available

Remember Dad's Advice

Your dad has offered countless words of wisdom throughout your life—many of which can be used to protect against online identity theft. Did your father ever warn you not to speed as a teenager? "That'll go on your permanent record," he may have said to remind you to be cautious in your car and avoid a speeding ticket. The Federal Trade Commission says that was good advice.

Every American has a permanent record, which includes personal information such as a credit report. This report will likely be checked by future employers and landlords to see if you pay bills on time, which is why you will want to ensure this report is accurate. Consumers are entitled to a free credit report every year by using However, the FTC warns consumers to be cautious of lookalike sites that end up charging consumers in the end for the report.

"You're going out looking like that?" may have been another phrase heard often during your teen years. While it may have resulted in an eye roll, this warning from Dad can also be applied to identity protection, according to the FTC.

"Dad's right that how you present yourself in public—including on social networking sites—can affect your future," the FTC post stated.

The agency suggests keeping sensitive personal information off social media websites, such as Facebook and Twitter. Once that information is online, it can't be taken back.

Raul Vargas is a fraud operations manager at IDentity Theft 911.

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