Black Friday is one of the most anticipated shopping events of the year, with retailers offering massive discounts on various products.
Unfortunately, it is also a time when scammers and fraudsters come out in droves to take advantage of unsuspecting shoppers.
In this article, we will explore some common Black Friday scams and provide tips on how to avoid them, so you can shop with confidence and get the best deals without falling victim to fraud.
About Black Friday Scams
Online shopping has risen in popularity and has become the number one option for how we shop.
The pandemic and the recognition of how convenient online shopping can be has changed our shopping habits for good.
More people are shopping online and this also leads to more people searching for sales and better deals online.
The Black Friday and holiday period is a busy time for everyone, including cybercriminals.
They tend to target a broad range of people with many different tactics constructed to steal personal, financial, or corporate information.
It was never more important to follow the upcoming internet trends and stay up to date with the latest hacker trends.
Education about prevention tips for online scams is one of the most effective fighting mechanisms that potential victims can equip themselves with.
Most Common Black Friday Scams Used by Hackers
1. Fraudulent Websites
Are designed mainly to steal victims’ personal or financial information.
Websites can be great copies and look completely normal, but there are ways to detect a fake.
URL should always have letter HTTPS and a ‘lock’ icon, which indicates that the website is safe. If you notice HTTP instead of HTTPS, you can assume it is an insecure website.
Grammar is another good indicator of legitimacy. Most fraudulent websites will have grammar errors present.
Lastly, checking the contacts section can help you spot a fake.
Legitimate businesses will provide contact information such as email address, phone number, and the actual location of their business.
2. Phishing Scams
Usually consist of sending a fake message or an email, tricking the recipient into providing personal information.
One of the most successful tactics used is social engineering. Attackers, through human interactions, gain access to victims’ personal or financial data.
3. Downloading a Fake App
Is also a common scamming technique. Hackers trick victims into downloading a fake app with malware to steal their credit card information.
Requesting to download apps is not a usual practice of legitimate retailers.
So if you receive a request to download an application before making a payment online, you are probably being scammed.
4. Fake Antivirus Pop-Ups
That appear while browsing online through different retailers’ websites are another common technique.
Victims who press and download the suggested antivirus software can end up with malware on their devices.
Tips for Secure Online Shopping
Choose to pay with Google pay, Apple pay, or use a credit card.
These payment methods are secure, and a customer has legal protection against the seller if things go wrong.
Update your phone or PC software regularly because scammers always target out-of-date weak spots.
Avoid suspicious links or downloads and if you decide to download something either way, always double-check the information about the application.
There are several ways to determine the legitimacy of the app:
- Look out for grammar mistakes and pay attention to the logo because copies of an app will have a different letter/font if compared to the original.
- Check the review section and pay attention to low ratings, negative or all positive reviews, because attackers might fake them to look trustworthy.
- Check the release date because if the app is new but has many reviews, that’s a red flag.
- Additionally, a tool like NordVPN’s Threat Protection can help spot malicious documents or apps. Threat Protection will scan through downloaded files and check for malware automatically.
- Avoid too-good-to-be-true offers or free gift card offers. These offers are eye-catching, but it is important to stay critical and question the intent of such advertisements.
- Use a password manager so that all your online shopping accounts have unique and strong passwords.
- A password manager will securely store your passwords and credit card information, making online shopping quicker and more secure.
- Use a good-quality VPN to add an extra layer of security (see NordVPN Black Friday Deals). A VPN functions by encrypting your traffic which shields your data from prying eyes.
NordPass Can Help!
- NordPass is a password manager and was created by Nord Security.
- NordPass is a tool that helps users store, auto-save, and auto-fill complex, unique passwords and other sensitive information with one click.
- NordPass premium subscription will identify weak, old and reused passwords with the Password Health tool for your security benefits.
- NordPass premium subscription will improve your overall security by scanning the web for data leaks. You can discover if any of your sensitive data (emails, credit cards orother private information) has been breached and also improve the security of any compromised accounts.
- NordPass premium subscription offers an inheritance feature which can give family members, friends access to your passwords in case of emergency.
- NordPass operates under zero-knowledge architecture, and all your passwords and other private information stored in NordPass is protected with xChaCha20 encryption, so your essential credentials are secure, and shielded.
By following the tips outlined in this article and staying informed, you can ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable shopping experience.
Remember to always verify the authenticity of deals, avoid clicking on suspicious links, and keep your personal information secure.
With these precautions in mind, you can shop with confidence and take advantage of the incredible deals that Black Friday has to offer.