Holiday shopping is expected to top $655 billion this year, and hackers are trying to get their share by scamming consumers looking for deals.
"This is a great time for hackers to do business," said Varun Kohli, vice president of marketing for mobile cybersecurity company Skycure, which recently issued a report on holiday shopping risks.
Hackers are targeting smartphones, where 25 percent of purchases are expected to be made this holiday season, according to the consulting firm, PwC. To get the best prices, 90 percent of smartphone users check their devices while shopping in brick-and-mortar stores, according to Skycure.
That can be a costly mistake. In a quest to save on pricey cellular data, many look for free Wi-Fi, which could be putting their device and sensitive financial information at risk.
If you connect to a malicious Wi-Fi network, hackers can view any transaction you do and gain information, such as your credit card number.
"Every transaction that you're doing on your cellphone is actually going through the bad guys," Kohli said.
Malicious Wi-Fi networks appear to be just like those offered by stores and restaurants, but are actually run by cybercriminals.
"Hackers are very, very sneaky. When something bad happens, you would not know in most cases," Kohli said.