Black Friday arrives, then Cyber Monday comes. This truly is the season not just for shopping or gift-giving but also for frauds preying on victims. Here are last-minute tips in order to avoid being scammed.
Beware of fake emails supposedly confirming the delivery of items bought, saying that you have just received a package from UPS, FedEx or the U.S. Post Office, according to Norton. These emails may contain phishing links that ask receivers to fill out a form or provide personal information that may result to getting into one’s bank account. Always go directly to the store’s website to track down packages or order status. Do not click on links from unknown sources.
Fraudsters do not always use emails to scam. Some also use text messages, according to Norton. This fraudulent scheme involves sending consumers text messages warning them of suspicious activity in their financial account and asking them to call a certain number. The person at the other end of the line would then retrieve your home address, Social Security number and other relevant information. Next thing the victim would know is that his or her bank account has already been plundered.
Norton is also advising against online coupons that sound too-good-to-be-true, like promises of winning free gifts including iPads and other expensive gadgets. Most of these coupons are posted via social media platforms like Facebook. They usually direct you to a website asking for credit card information that may be use to access your financial accounts.
Norton also warns against fake refunds. Victims may receive messages with links saying there was a “wrong transaction” and that you need to “click for refund.” Once clicked, these links spill malware all over computer or mobile device.
According to the Better Business Bureau, there will be 140 million Black Friday shoppers. The National Retail Federation said these shoppers are planning to spend average of $463 on family members. Hence fraudsters are on the prowl anywhere. They could also use fake gift cards. The Bureau highly advised to buy gift cards straight from the retailers and never from third parties.
Additionally, whether it is Black Friday, Cyber Monday or Small Business Saturday, the Bureau advises to “always read the fine print.” Big retailers lure shoppers with bold advertisements of tempting discounts. But the fine print will always say the discounts are only applicable to selected items that are on clearance or expensive items like home appliance and furniture.
Most importantly, watch out for pop-up shops that show up weeks or days before the event. They may disappear anytime. On the other hand, be vigilant of sales that stay even weeks after Black Friday.
Here is a quick list of scams to avoid for Black Friday from Truth In Advertising: