SAN DIEGO, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- The Christmas shopping season is also a busy time for scammers running phishing operations and other schemes aimed at U.S. computer users, experts say.
"There's a component of cybercrime that is seasonally variable," Michael Barrett, chief information officer at PayPal, told the San Diego Union-Tribune. "There are three times as many phishing e-mails beginning the day before Thanksgiving, and we see a reduction after Christmas until after New Year's."
Phishing involves e-mails where the sender poses as a bank or stock broker and aims to trick recipients into handing over account information. Experts told the newspaper that the old-fashioned scam of getting credit card numbers has become less common because thieves operating in Belarus or Ukraine cannot order goods bought on U.S. credit cards delivered to their home countries.
The security company Symantec reported in November that stolen credit card information was being offered on the Internet for 10 cents to $25 while bank account information was going for $10 to as much as $1,000.