This week sees the arrival of another Black Friday, when thousands of brands offer discounted prices for the weekend. This is a highly anticipated event for consumers but also for cyber-criminals. Today then we are looking at potential Black Friday 2022 scams and how to avoid them.
Scams Set To Rise This Year
Google searches for ‘Black Friday deals’ and ‘best Black Friday deals’ are unsurprisingly up by multiple percentage points this month. According to Bitdefender, 56% of all unsolicited Black Friday emails received between October 26 and November 6 this year were scams. Most of those emails were sent out from November 4th-6th – did you receive one? Perhaps more pointedly, would you be able to even say if you had received one?
This now traditional ‘sales day’ is incredibly popular and embraced by more people each year. More are now likely to shop online rather than in-store, too. People are using a range of devices to complete online purchases – even people who are not tech-savvy and unaware of cyber security best practices.
Potential Scams To Watch Out For
Scammers have many tactics at their disposal, including fake emails. These are designed to look like legitimate communications from known retailers, offering exclusive deals. If you can spot them, then you can avoid being the victim of a scam. Look out for the domain name of the sender’s email address, which can sometimes be hidden on smartphones. Check to see if anything looks wrong or if there are spelling errors. If it is from a personal address, such as Gmail, that can also be a ‘red flag’. Our recommendation would be to visit the retailer’s website directly – you certainly should not click on any links within an email.
Speaking of websites, a lot of scams are designed to send people to a web page and then request information. In these instances, you must watch out for a padlock at the start of the web address bar. The padlock icon shows that the site has a valid security certificate – if there is not one showing, then you should probably avoid completing any data fields. You can also look out for spelling errors and poor grammar, as these are tell-tale signs of a fake website.
Text Message Scams
A classic scam involves the sending of a text message saying you have a parcel waiting with a delivery provider. The message might alternatively suggest that a delivery slot has been missed, with a link included to then re-book a new slot. Whatever the content, always make sure that you evaluate all the key information:- Is the sender number in order? Does it appear to be genuine, or is it an unknown number?
- Are there any spelling errors in the text?
- Is there a link? If so, is it a bit.ly link? (For example)
- Are you being asked for payment?
Once again, we would urge people to visit the website of any retailer you believe may be sending a genuine message. You should certainly not respond to or engage with the text itself.
There are many potential Black Friday 2022 scams to watch out for. Above we have listed a few of the more ‘popular’ ones to be wary of. You should definitely exercise caution in other ways too though. For example, consider paying via credit card rather than using a debit card, as these offer increased payment security. Retrieving money lost to fraud is then a much easier task. Also, use your own Wi-Fi network when making payments – public connections are much easier to hack!
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