Black Friday is something most shoppers look forward to every year. One of the busiest shopping weekends of the year attracts crowds of people in store and this year mostly online, which will attract even more cyber scammers. This means you need to take extra care while shopping online over the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend. This season is a prime time for scam e-commerce stores – websites designed to look like legitimate businesses but in fact are just attempts to steal peoples money. Read more to learn how you can protect yourself from Black Friday Cyber Scams.
Black Friday scams are very similar to other online scams, but the difference is that they are highly targeted in line with an event. By focusing on an event, the cybercriminals behind the fraud might capture excited individuals who are looking for a bargain. Here are some tips to consider when shopping this holiday season so you can spot a scam when you see one:
1. Use a credit card to shop online – Most banks will protect you for purchases up to a certain amount.
2. Safe websites – Check the website address as scammers can swap out one of two letters in the website address to make it look like the real website. Always make sure that communication with the website is secure with SSL. Look for the tiny lock symbol before the URL
3. Secure Wi-Fi – Always use a secure Wi-Fi connection to login to any online account and when making online payments.
5. The site is poorly designed – Most store websites are designed properly and user friendly for their consumers. Scammers don’t take the time to design a proper easy to navigate website. Keep this in mind when visiting a website.
6. Prices are way too low – As this is the season for grabbing a great deal, there is a limit to how much you can expect to save. Many scam websites try to steal your money by offering really low prices on products. Cross reference with another website before going forward with your purchase. If it looks too good, it is probably risky.
7. Be wary of email and social media deals – You’re likely be sent a billion emails with special offers and social media posts this Black Friday. Be wary about clicking through on deals that come from suspicious sources. Always check the link they redirect you to is the right link.
8. Update your software – Ensure you’re running the latest versions of your software – windows, macOS and your favourite browser. These updates are so important as it’s very difficult to postpone or opt out of them, and you’ll be regularly reminded if your software is out of date.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday is a great time to take advantage of sales and a great deal that you might have been eyeing for some time. Don’t let the sale frenzy overcome common sense. Remember to think of the above tips and signs so you can spot a cyber scam and save yourself time and money.