Black Friday online scams to avoid
With nearly $9 billion dollars spent on Black Friday alone in 2021, it’s no wonder that scammers are looking to cash in this year.
Security experts say shoppers need to be on the lookout for at least six common online scams.
Non-delivery scams — A customer finds a perfect gift at a good price, goes to a website, orders the item, but never receives it.
Customers can avoid this by sticking to reputable retailers. To buy from a new-to-you merchant, check for a physical address, a customer service phone number, and a professional-looking site. Signs of malicious websites include poor spelling, odd design, and slow loading times.
Gift card scams —Customers are asked to use gift cards as payment for purchased items. That’s a red flag. Always use credit cards.
Fake charities — People are lured by heartwarming stories to give to fake charities. They believe they are providing charitable donations as holiday gifts. Take time to research charities before donating.
Fake order scams — The scammer sends a message about an item that wasn’t ordered and is demanding payment.
If not sure whether the message is legitimate, don’t click on any links within it. Contact the business on your own to confirm or deny.
Fake website — An accidentally misspelled website address can lead a customer to give login and credit card information to a cybercriminal.
The victim should report the fraud to the card issuer and get a new card.
Fake delivery notifications — Messages claim a delivery problem and are made to look like they are coming from legitimate delivery services. They provide a link to “fix the problem.”
Just knowing about this Black Friday scam is a good start. Don’t click on the link. If the message seems legitimate, shoppers should check with the delivery service directly.
All scam attempts should be reported to appropriate authorities.
Locally, if people who are scammed report the incident to law enforcement, the public can be alerted.