Phishing scams on the rise during holiday shopping season

LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The holidays are upon us, meaning it’s a perfect time for scammers to get to work.

They're doing so by sending you fake emails known as “phishing scams” designed to look like a retailers in hopes you'll give them your personal information.

“They use social engineering techniques which is kind of the curiously thing where they’re trying to get people to click like a free cup of coffee or free amazon gift card to get something that they’re going to want,” said Jeff Dettloff, President of Providence computer services in Lansing.

Dettloff has seen an increase in phishing scams.

He says scammers aren’t stopping there. They're even sending emails to make it look like someone you know like maybe your boss or company CEO is asking you send money or click on a link.

They're even using the phone.

“Someone will call up and say, ‘hey, this is Jeff from IT and I understand your computer is not working I need to get into it can you give me the password’ and people will fall for that and they'll capture their creational,” said Dettloff.

Stopping these scammers is easier said than done.

“Spam can come from anywhere all over the place not just a single server or single IP address and when its disturbed like that it’s very difficult to do anything about it,” said Dettloff.

Checking your email with a level of paranoia Dettloff says is the best way in avoiding a new age of online scammers.

“Be alert and be aware that these schemes are happening and they're happening to normal people,” said Dettloff.

If you think you've fallen for a scam, contact your financial institution and change all your passwords.

You may also call police or file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.