Black Friday-Cyber Monday Shopping Scams to Avoid This Year

Black Friday Cyber Monday Shopping Scams to Avoid This Year

HackerCombat recently wrote sharing tips for safe online shopping during the Black Friday- Cyber Monday shopping season.

Yes, as we had mentioned there, the November- December shopping season witnesses a surge in shopping and consequently hackers also try their best to make the most of this season, attempting some hacking and data breach, which would get them loads of sensitive personal data, of unsuspecting customers. Hence we need to be safe during the shopping season; our personal data, as well as our hard-earned money, is at stake.

We had discussed the risks associated with online shopping during this season and we had suggested tips to help stay secure as well. Today, we focus on some prominent online scams of which you should remain mindful during the Black Friday-Cyber Monday shopping season. Here we go:

Beware; scammers may launch fake apps…

You might be hounded by fake apps that scammers launch, intending to lure you into unknowingly download malware into your system/device. These fake apps, which mimic those of major retailers, may come with similar logos and brand names (with minor, usually unnoticeable differences). Thus, it’s always advisable to be cautious while downloading apps, especially the third-party ones. There are certain basic things practicing which could help you stay safe while downloading a new app. You should look for grammatical errors, which might be suggestive of the app being a fake one; you should download only from a trusted source or verified company. Similarly, never allow apps to access your social media profiles or location, and always check online reviews of an app before downloading it.

Email campaigns are always hackers’ favorite, be prepared!

Phishing email campaigns are always among the hot favorites of all hackers. During a shopping season, they could come up with fake emails that offer exclusive deals and thus tempt users into opening them. Once you open the email and download the attachment that comes with it or click on the link that’s there in the email, you’ll be taken to a page that asks for personal info. The thought that you’re going to get exclusive offers would make you fill in all your personal

details and then that’s it. The hacker gets your personal details, which can later be misused, for online frauds or identity theft. The best thing to do when any such email is received would be to refrain from opening it or at least contact the merchant/online store directly.

There could be hoax coupons, stay safe…

There could be hoax coupons, which would seem like legit coupons for a big brand online store. Only a closer look at coupons could help differentiate genuine coupons from the fake ones. Once you respond to a fake coupon, you’d be asked to share a website link or social media post. Sharing this would result in the scam spreading wide and impacting more customers. Such coupons would also want you to fill in a survey form, which would ask for your personal data- email addresses, telephone numbers, even credit card numbers etc. Some coupons would tell you that the offer can be availed of only if you enter personal information. This would provide the hacker with an access to your personal information, your finances etc.

The best thing to do when you get a coupon via an email would be to hover your mouse over the link and check the address from where it has come, to find out if it’s genuine or fake.

Beware of counterfeit items!

There are many sellers who are not genuine and who would want to rob you of your money by selling counterfeit stuff. Similarly, scammers resort to mixing such counterfeit items along with genuine high-end items and dupe shoppers into buying such counterfeit stuff. There are also scammers promoting and selling counterfeit items on Facebook or via WhatsApp. Always go for the genuine online stores, and make it a policy to examine who the seller is. Do a research on the genuineness of the seller, check online reviews and make inquiries with friends.

Steer clear of fake Facebook pages

There are scammers who resort to “like farming”, which involves offering coupons, gift cards, giveaways etc when users “like” or “share” the scammers’ social media posts. This, in fact, is a shortcut to gain access to the personal information of Facebook users.

There are also scammers who use fake Facebook pages to prompt users to register, by filling out personal details, to claim offers, most of which themselves would be fake.

Scammers also use the same tactics to spread malware, by adding something malicious to a post that they want you to like and share. This could be a link to a website that would cause malware infection on systems and devices.

Thus, it would always be advisable to exercise caution while entering personal information anywhere online. Similarly, it’s advisable never to share posts from Facebook pages that you don’t know, especially posts that offer a reward or an offer, coupon etc.


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