Black Friday is a time of great deals and discounts, which gives the opening for the holiday season, but it’s also a time when scammers are out in full force. With the increase in online shopping, scammers know people are looking to get the best deals possible, and they take advantage of that by running scams. This blog post will teach you how to avoid Black Friday scams. We will discuss what to watch out for and provide tips on protecting yourself from being scammed.
Keep an eye out for these Black Friday scams:
Be wary of any emails that come in during the Black Friday season. Many scammers will send phishing emails that look like they’re from a legitimate retailer or website. These emails will often contain links to fake websites or attachments that can install malware on your computer. If you receive an email from a retailer, be sure to double-check the sender’s address to make sure it’s legitimate. You can also hover over any links in the email to see where they will take you before clicking on them.
Some of the most common phishing emails during Black Friday are:
Order confirmation scams
All companies send legitimate emails after purchasing to confirm your order, but this type of scam is very common during Black Friday. Usually, to identify your email as a scam, the scammer won’t give you any details about the order and will convince you to click on a link to confirm your order or track your package and see your order information. Fraudsters frequently use this trick to get you to provide them with your personal information.
Problem with your order scams
Another type of phishing scam to beware of during Black Friday is when someone asks you to reschedule your order by clicking on a link or taking other action. They might say that there was a problem with your order or that it needs to be updated. Once again, this is just a way for scammers to get you to click on a link and enter your personal information into a fake website.
Account verification scams
Scammers often pretend to be representatives for your chosen retailer to trick you into giving them personal information such as passwords or credit card numbers. They might say someone has tried to hack your account or that updates are needed for security by clicking on a fake link.
Billing error scams
Scammers like to play on people’s emotions. They’ll contact you and tell you that your payment information is wrong, demanding that you correct it right away or lose out on your purchase. They aim to capitalize on that sense of urgency to entice you into giving them your bank details on a phony website that appears to be the real deal.
Click and receive scams
With all the great discounts and the beginning of the holidays, during Black Friday, it’s too easy to lose track of what you’ve ordered. This is why scammers take advantage and send click-and-receive emails which contain a link you will be persuaded to click to receive a package you ordered.
Besides phishing email scams, other types of scams are very common during Black Friday.
Scam callers often get you to give them personal information or money. Be very wary of any unsolicited calls during Black Friday, even if they seem to come from a legitimate company. In this scam, you may receive a phone call to encourage the victim to download a tool on their personal device and give remote access to resolve a problem, this will allow the hacker to access your personal information or install malware on your computer. Also, another tactic scam callers use is to ask for sensitive information during the call, like credit card data.
Instant messaging scams
This suspicious-looking message contains a fake link to a well know website offering a great deal. Clicking on this type of link can unleash a swathe of malware on your device. Scammers replicate the URLs and websites of famous retailers to attack their clients. Most of the time, it’s hard to notice the website or like it is fake because of how similar they look. Instant messaging is becoming more and more usual as in this type of scam, hackers avoid the spam folder and take advantage of our predisposition to respond to texts immediately.
Vouchers are a great way to get discounts on your purchases, but scammers know this too. They will create fake voucher websites that look like the real thing and offer amazing deals that are too good to be true. These vouchers often have terms and conditions that are not clear or visible, so victims end up giving away personal information or even money without realizing it.
Social media scams
Scammers take advantage of the holiday season by posting fake offers on social media newsfeeds. Lookout for ads from small Facebook and Instagram pages offering absurd deals from well-known brands. If it looks too good to be true, it’s most surely this is a scam. Always check the seller’s ratings, reviews, and interactions with the users and followers, and pay attention to small details in the URL domain. Like phishing emails, fraudsters create lookalike sites to steal private information and money.
Now that you know what type of scams are more likely to spread around during Black Friday, here is some advice to avoid being a victim of this fraud.
Tips to protect yourself from being scammed
- Be aware of absurd deals: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Research the seller and ensure they are credible before clicking on any links.
- Don’t click on any links in emails or instant messages from unknown senders: if you’re not expecting an email with a link, don’t click on it. The same goes for instant messages. If you’re unsure whether the message is legitimate, contact the company through another channel to confirm first.
- Be cautious with social media marketplaces: Check some specific data like customer reviews, followers, comments, and how long the page has existed.
- Don’t give your personal information: scammers will always try to get your personal information, especially passwords, credit card numbers, and sensitive information. If you get a call or an email asking for this information, try to contact the company directly and confirm it is not a scam.
- Always research a company before making a purchase: the red flags of fraud are usually the lack of encryption, for example, when a site isn’t marked with the HTTPS attribute when the site has a lot of pop-up ads and limited payment methods.
- Keep track of your orders: make sure to track your packages through the official website of your merchant or your shipping and delivery company. So, contact the delivery firm first if you get an email or SMS informing you that delivery was unsuccessful or re-confirmation was required.
- Use a credit card: If you make a fraudulent transaction using your credit card, the bank is likely to repay you immediately.
Although Black Friday is here to stay, you must take certain precautions such as being wary of spammy messages and tracking your orders. Additionally, don’t be afraid to place fishy-looking emails in your junk folder. Fraudulent activities always increase during the holiday season. Be extra careful when you’re shopping online, and don’t let scammers ruin your holidays!