Black Friday and Cyber Monday are just around the corner and many of us are getting ready for some real Christmas-shopping bargains.
Unfortunately, shoppers are not the only ones who are getting excited about Black Friday and Cyber Monday. So are scammers. You will likely see your fair share of fake emails, fake ads and websites with fake offers. Don’t fall for these scams!
Here are a few tips to keep in mind to avoid getting tricked during your Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping:
1) Search for deals on the store’s actual website instead of through search engines
Many stores have ads online about upcoming deals during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Scammers take advantage of this by creating phishing websites and other malicious webpages, designed to look like the websites of actual retailers. The deals they offer are usually too good to be true. Don’t let scammers lure you to their phishing or malware websites!
Tip: If you are looking for a particular Black Friday or Cyber Monday deal, go straight to the store's website instead of searching for it through a search engine. This will help you avoid the fake ads that scammers are blasting search engines with.
2) Be suspicious of emails
E-mails are an easy way for retailers to inform you about their products. Unfortunately, scammers know this too. So they create fake emails that look just like the ones the retailer would send. It probably even looks like it came from the retailer’s own email address. However, when clicking on a link in an email, you may download a bit of code designed to steal your credit card information while you make your purchase. This is a so-called cross-site scripting attack.
Tip: Avoid email scams and cross-site scripting attacks by typing in the address of the store's website yourself. Don’t click on links in emails!
3) Watch out for social media shopping scams
Many of us are on social media. So are scammers. They can, as an example, use compromised Facebook accounts to post links to fake deals. These posts may then end up in the newsfeed of the victim’s friends and quickly re-posted. After all, a good deal is worth sharing among friends, right?
Tip: To avoid getting scammed on social media, go straight to the the website of the retailer and check if the offer can be found there too. Don’t click on links or pop-ups!
About Black Friday and Cyber Monday:
Black Friday occurs the day after Thanksgiving and kicks off the Christmas-shopping season in the U.S. It is characterised by its many discounts. This year Black Friday occurs on the 23 of November. Cyber Monday is the first Monday after Thanksgiving and marks the start of the online Christmas-shopping season.
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