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From letters to Santa to fake ads: How hackers are targeting you

How hackers are targeting you (Madeline Montgomery/WPDE)

It's the most wonderful time of year-- for hackers, according to cyber security professor Stanton Greenawalt.

"There's just tremendous opportunity for the evil-doers to go out there and target you, and that's exactly what they're going to do," said Greenawalt.

How are hackers targeting you during the holidays?

Greenawalt says fake ads and websites are a hacker favorite.

"I offer great deals, a 600 inch TV for $190 no tax. And then I'll actually get some people who go on there, on my website, I'll have it set up for the accounts, and they'll take that account data that you've given to them freely, and then they'll set up a credit card on that and go enjoy their Christmas holiday on you," said Greenwalt.

Greenawalt says hackers can mimic your favorite websites to get your card info. It's little details that will show it's a fake.

"It's so easy with things like photo shop now days to click, and make your page look almost identical to amazon.com. Also, any misspellings: I would be very careful of. All they have to do is change one letter or put an 's' on it," said Greenawalt,

He says to also pay attention to the URL.

And online isn't the only way identity theft happens.

"There's letter to Santa. Companies will send out letters to Santa. What they're doing there-- they're scamming people to provide data about children. They'll take the data, the information of the children then, get their names, and they'll set up credit accounts on that child's name," said Greenawalt.

So, address your letters directly to the North Pole to keep this time of year wonderful.

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