The holidays are the perfect time for spending time with family and friends, eating good food, and shopping! Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two of the year’s biggest shopping days and are just around the corner. However, they are also prime times for scammers to take advantage of unsuspecting shoppers. Beware of Black Friday and Cyber Monday Scams, and learn some tips to stay safe from phishing.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday Phishing Scams
Phishing is a type of online fraud where criminals try to steal your personal information by sending you emails or texts that look like they’re from a legitimate company. They might get you to click on a malicious link, enter personal information on a fake website, or open an attachment that will install malware on your device.
Now that the internet is overflowing with scams, hacking attacks, malware, and other digital threats, everyone, from individuals to businesses, must take measures against becoming a victim. Here are some of the most common phishing scams to be aware of during Black Friday and Cyber Monday:
Gift card scam:
This phishing scam happens when you receive an email or text message offering a great deal on a gift card, usually for a well-known retailer. The message includes a link to what looks like the retailer’s website. When you click the link, you’re taken to a fake website that asks you to enter personal information or install malware.
Also, many scammers ask people to pay with gift cards pretending to be from the government, a charity, or a well-known company like Amazon. They might say you owe the IRS money or have won a contest. The scammer then asks for the code on the back of the card as payment. Once they have the code, they can spend the money from the card.
Shipping notification scam:
Usually, this scam happens when you get an email or text message saying that your package couldn’t be delivered and providing a link to track your package. When you click the link, you’re taken to a fake website that asks for personal information or installs malware on your device.
Bogus emails from retailers:
Beware of emails from retailers with amazing deals on popular items. These emails often include a link to a fake website that looks identical to your favorite store’s website. Hackers can create these clone websites perfectly, and if you purchase one of these sites, the con artist will be able to steal your credit card information.
Fake delivery notifications:
This scam comes in the form of an email or text message that looks like it’s from a delivery company like FedEx, UPS, or DHL. It tells you if there is a problem with your delivery and provides a link to track your package. When you click the link, you’re taken to a fake website that asks for personal information or installs malware on your device.
Tips To Stay Safe From Phishing Scams:
Use browsing protection tools:
Browsing protection tools can help you avoid phishing websites. They work by comparing the website you’re trying to visit with a database of known phishing sites and blocking the site if it’s on the list.
Don’t click on every link:
Avoid clicking links or opening attachments in digital communications unless you are confident of the sender. If you hover your cursor over a link in an email, the real URL will usually show up. If it looks suspicious, don’t click on it. Pay attention to small details. Even the position of a letter can vary and lead you to a fake website.
Don’t believe in every offer:
Most of the time, offers that are too good to be true are made to trick people. When in doubt, go directly to the company’s website by typing the URL into your browser instead of clicking on a link.
Protect your personal information:
Never enter personal information or payment information on a website unless you are sure it is legitimate and secure. Look for “HTTPS” at the beginning of the web address and a lock icon.
Stay up to date on the latest phishing scams and other digital threats. Additionally, ensure your devices and software are constantly updated with the latest security patches.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are great times to snag amazing deals online. However, it’s essential to be aware of the dangers of phishing scams. By knowing the different types of phishing scams and following the tips above, you can help protect yourself against becoming a victim of fraud this holiday season.