With the holiday season behind us, cyber scammers and spammers will now be looking towards the upcoming events and worldwide happenings that they can leverage to form the next waves of online trickery. The noteworthy ones on the horizon include Valentine’s Day, tax-filing season, and the FIFA World Cup – all of which will, in all likelihood, produce their own variety of social engineering techniques, online fraud, malware, fake websites, phishing, and spam.

And some of these tactics are, unfortunately, already underway, while the events themselves are months away. According to Computer Weekly, cyber police from the UK’s Scotland Yard have already uncovered and shut down over 100 World Cup-related scams. In terms of leveraging tax season, anti-spam researchers at Trend Micro are reporting that spam messages purporting to come from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service are making the rounds, attempting to infect users with malware.

What’s the bottom line for these cyber scammers? In some cases, it’s to con you into making a bogus purchase so that the thieves reap the rewards. In others, the scams may be set up in order to get you to divulge your personal information, which in turn can be used for more widespread criminal means, including identity theft.

Identity theft is currently one of the fastest growing crimes of our time, making it an important topic to be aware – no matter the season.

Keep watching this space for regular updates on the latest scams you should be aware of. And remember, if you’d like to receive my news directly to your inbox, just subscribe to my mailing list.