Dark Light

Black Friday scams: 6 tips to avoid them Leave a comment


Black Friday shopping is here, but hidden between those Walmart doorbusters and low price tag deals might sit your next online fraud case.

Train that keen, deal-focused eye to the potential for scammers, too.

According to a global survey by NordVPN, more than 34 million Americans — as well as two million Canadians, three million Australians, and five million Brits — were targeted by Black Friday and Cyber Monday scams last year. Over a third of Americans have been scammed while shopping online, NordVPN found.

Malware and cyber protection company Malwarebytes reported an increase of credit card skimming scams in particular this holiday season, noting a specific operation that crafts realistic payment templates that have compromised hundreds of websites and stolen personal data.

Still, the threat of potential scams or even identity theft isn’t keeping online shoppers away from the holiday deals. Here’s a few important tips to keep yourself protected this shopping season.

Don’t click on sponsored ads

Some scammers use “malvertising” to target customers, enticing users to click on ads that then install malware that compromises your computer. Search for products and deals directly on a retailer’s site instead.

Keep an eye out for fake websites and DM’s from scammers

Scammers will take advantage of the promise of surprising good deals to get you to click on fake websites and compromised links — In fact, shopping scams on social media sites make up almost half of fraud cases in 2023, so far.

Malwarebytes suggests keeping an eye out for old copyright labels (found at the bottom of webpages) and outdated visuals that might suggest the page your on is a poor copy of the official site.

And don’t click on URLs shared by random, possibly bot accounts, even if they look realistic.

Ignore timely requests asking for updated personal information

Urgent requests for personal information should always be met with wariness, as its one of the most common ways scammers seek out personal information. Don’t click on external links in these emails or, potentially, text messages, which could be phishing attempts.

Instead, add updated billing information directly from your account settings, or prepare to add it upon checkout.

Protect your credit cards

To avoid the threat of credit card skimming, PCMag’s Chandra Steele suggests using virtual credit cards or third party processing sites (like Apple Pay, Google Pay, or PayPal) to process your purchases, rather than inputting your credit card information directly into a site.

Shoppers can also use security software to scan for compromised sites, like those reported by Malwarebytes.

Look out for “review exchange” clubs that share fake reviews

As The Hill explains, some sellers participate in misleading exchanges of products for positive reviews on sites like Amazon. Always cross reference reviews (and pricing) across multiple sites, including the original retailer.

To the same end, shoppers should avoid buying from unauthorized sellers on sites like Amazon or even box stores like Walmart and Target, which often results in mislabeled, mishandled, and lost products, that don’t offer as much protection for customers.

Watch your bank statements

As an influx of purchases sails through your bank, it’s easy to miss a fraudulent charge, so keep a tally of your purchases. Set alerts for suspicious buys or high value amounts if you can’t keep an eye on your account during the shopping sprint.


Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *