Black Friday Scams

Black Friday Scams: Avail the Best Deals BUT Stay Secure

7 Mins Read

PUREVPNPrivacy & SecurityBlack Friday Scams: Avail the Best Deals BUT Stay Secure

You need to act fast! Get the best discounts, but stop for a while!

Americans save an average of 24% on Black Friday. We wait over the year for the fantastic discounts and deals for next year. 

You are at a greater risk of cyber threats during Black Friday sales. The reason is the attack surface scammers have, to perform their illicit activities.

You must be aware of Black Friday Scams, and we are here to give you insight into the most recent scams you could be the target of.

Black Friday Scams

Shopping Scams to Know About This Season

Scammers find various ways to target you. They may use phishing, social engineering or vishing as a source to trap you. 

The motive is apparent: they want to steal your personal information, bank details or other credentials to make fraudulent payments or have other monetary benefits.

  1. Website Spoofing

There’s a crafty game afoot—cybercriminals are setting up fake digital shops or pretending to be popular online retailers, all to trick you.

What to Double-CheckTricky Moves to Watch For
Inspecting the Web Address:Keep a sharp eye on the website’s URL. Scammers often play with domain names, creating look-alikes such as “Amazonn.com” instead of the actual “Amazon.com,” or “bestbuy.info” rather than the genuine “bestbuy.com.”
Scrutinizing the Content:Take a closer look at the language used, the overall design, and any fishy details—especially on smaller, less-known online shops. Watch out for images that seem lifted from elsewhere or brand names and descriptions that sound odd or aren’t quite right in English.
Ensuring Secure Transactions:Refrain from punching in your payment details on shaky sites. Legit ones use SSL encryption, hiding sensitive data (like your name or credit card number) from prying eyes. Confirm this by checking for “HTTPS” (not just “HTTP”) and spotting a padlock symbol near the URL.
  1. Malvertisement

Found a flashy ad on social media platforms, such as Facebook or Instagram and thought it was the most incredible discount ever! Don’t be fooled. The value might be honest, but it is not wise to click on the link displayed in the ad. 

What Should You Do Instead? 

You must look for the website on Google. If the website is accurate, you will see its offer; otherwise, understand that you were trapped through a deceptive ad into a phishing scam.

  1. Gift Card and Payment Methods Scams

The United States represents approximately 38% of the global gift card market, valued at $339.5 billion. The stats show how easy it is for the scammers to target people through gift cards.

Gift cards are easy to buy and are non-refundable. Also, they are not tracked once sold. So, it is advised not to purchase through a gift card and, most importantly, do not share sensitive information such as PIN or card details.

Besides gift card scams, scammers could ask you to make payments through unsuspicious ways, such as wire transfers, cryptocurrencies and ambiguous payment apps. 

You must always choose an authentic and backed-up payment platform.

  1. Fail to Deliver Scam

Although the scam is unavoidable at this stage because you are now the victim and the damage is irreversible, you should still look for previous signs. 

While doing so, scammers will send you a false tracking ID or will not provide you with any details about your order. They would also not respond to your emails or any texts.

  1. Credit/Debit Card Scams

During the holiday season, threat actors exploit the heightened activity to steal credit card details and digital identities. Credit card fraud involves the unauthorized use of credit card information for illegitimate transactions, often via compromised online platforms. 

Identity fraud, in contrast, involves the theft of personal information for impersonation in fraudulent activities.

An example of malicious software, Magecart malware, infiltrates and compromises eCommerce websites to gather sensitive information, primarily credit card details and other personal data.

This malware intercepts and captures your input, such as credit card information entered during online transactions, without the awareness of the website owner or the unsuspecting users. 

The data is then sent to remote servers controlled by cybercriminals, who exploit it for various fraudulent activities, including unauthorized transactions and identity theft.

What Must Retailers Do To Keep the Shoppers Safe On This Black Friday?

It is not always the buyer’s responsibility to beware of scams. Retailers, website owners and regulators must also keep vigorous checks for any of these activities, which might compromise their customer base. 

  • They must use advanced encryption protocols to keep the communication between buyers and platforms safe and free from cyber intrusions.
  • They should maintain the practice of regular security audits so that new scam tactics are revealed.
  • They must instantly patch their systems if vulnerabilities are found and should perform intrusion management.  Installing advanced firewalls and monitoring third-party integration is essential, too.
  • Retailers must scrutinize new tradespeople and buyers.
  • During the high shopping season, they should be ready for the rush and maintain server allocation up to date in case of a DDoS attack.
  • They must have proper planning to deal with reported scams.

Your Go-To Plan to Protect Yourself Against Black Friday Scams

The idea of protecting yourself from scammers sounds like a big plan, but trust me, it is very simple and easy to follow:

Beware

Beware of websites or sellers flaunting meager prices, often undercutting comparable items on other platforms. Take a moment to pause and reflect on whether a tempting deal might be too good to be true.

Flag

If you encounter suspicious sponsored ads, don’t hesitate to flag them to Google through ‘My Ad Centre.’ Simply click on the three stacked dots to the right of the ad to access this feature.

When shopping, opt for a cautious approach. Instead of clicking on links in emails, SMS, or social media, conduct independent searches to access websites. Prioritize using apps from official stores for an added layer of security.

Update

Ensure your devices are secure, steer clear of public WiFi, and set up multi-factor authentication for an extra shield against potential threats.

Consider

Regarding payments, avoid direct bank deposits, money transfers, or digital currencies like Bitcoin, as retrieving funds can be challenging. 

Opt for safer alternatives like PayPal or credit cards. Consider maintaining a secondary credit card with a modest limit exclusively for online shopping, offering additional financial protection.

Scam Watch – Our Three-Tier Approach

STOP



Don’t rush! You will get another genuine offer.
THINK



Verify the deal! Can it be that good?
PROTECT


Don’t wait! If you have fallen victim or found it suspicious: Report!

PureVPN: 360 Degrees Secure Online Access

Your online presence is constantly exposed to security threats. So whether it is online shopping, social media accounts, banking/crypto transactions or anything else, you must have a plan to keep your privacy under a reliable tunnel.

PureVPN comes as a baseline security with convenience.

Why is PureVPN Your Best Black Friday Shopping VPN?

Keeps you secure

With PureVPN’s advanced security protocols, such as 256-bit encryption, IP leak and DNS leak prevention, you are always anonymous on all shopping websites. This keeps you away from scammers.

Helps you have the best deals

Black Friday offers discounts for everyone. What if you get the regional discounts, too? With PureVPN’s 6500+ servers globally, you can connect to any country for the most economical offers, surpassing regional barriers.

Added Benefits

Enjoy less clutter while shopping and have a fast internet connection. Also, use PureVPN for streaming and gaming this holiday season.

Get PureVPN

What is the website scammer check?

There are certain tools that check if the website is a scam or not, but it is always a better idea to search yourself. Look for user reviews, find the social media presence and most importantly check if it is SSL certified.

How do I know the list of scamming websites on Black Friday?

You might need help finding a specific list as scammers find various different ways and create many websites to trick the users. The only way to keep yourself safe is through vigilance and a little research about the offer and website.

Can I search for scammer’s names?

Although scammers keep changing their names, there is a platform called Global Scammers Database, which can be of help. You can report and find a scammer on the website.

What to do if you purchase from a fake website?

You must immediately report a scam to the FTC. It is also advisable to protect your credentials if given to scammers to prevent identity theft.

Don’t Be the Next Target This Friday!

Scammers are everywhere! 

With yearly sales and the holiday season, they become more active. 

We must be vigilant and don’t let them fool us.

Don’t just learn about  Black Friday Scams but about the basics of cyber security. 

The basic rule of thumb is to use updated devices, manage passwords efficiently and avoid clicking on suspicious links.

Also, being anonymous is crucial while online, so use a high-speed VPN for the best privacy controls.

author

Marrium Akhtar

date

November 21, 2023

time

5 months ago

Marrium is a dedicated digital Marketer and an SEO enthusiast who is skilled in cracking SEO codes. Other than work, she loves to stream, eat, and repeat.

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