updated 12/5/2011 2:54:07 PM ET 2011-12-05T19:54:07

Let the holiday shopping scam season begin!

Fraudulent emails claiming to be from Amazon have been finding their way into inboxes, claiming that your account with the online retail giant is "about to expire and will be deactivated," the security company Sophos reported. The emails are titled "You have (1) Message from Amazon," and come from the address ""

The possibility of a shuttered Amazon account could be particularly problematic to some customers, especially with the holiday shopping season in full swing.

But all you have to do keep your account alive is "download and complete the attached form," the phishing email says. Sounds easy enough, right?

As with most phishing scams, the attached file is a Trojan, which, if downloaded, attempts to fool people into divulging their online credentials, credit card data and other personal information.

To keep yourself and your computer safe this holiday shopping season, be especially vigilant about unsolicited emails and retail offers that either threaten some sort of account deactivation, or tell you there's a problem with your billing information that requires immediate attention.

If you plan to purchase presents online, make sure you log onto a secure site, designated by "https" or a green lock icon in the URL bar, and regularly check your bank and credit card statement and report any unusual activity to your bank or credit card company.

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