Black Friday Scams
6 Black Friday Scams To Avoid This Year: How They Work
Watch out for the Black Friday deals happening this year if you're looking for the best offers and promotions. Whether you need TVs, laptops, phones, Nintendos, tablets or gift cards, this special day kicking off the holiday season could be a double-edged sword.
Stores are geared up to price items at steep discounts and bargain hunters come in droves to take advantage of the ridiculously low prices. But some bargains that seem too good to be true well, they really are. Let's take a closer look at some disappointments this week.
Watch the video below to see a consumer exposing a few borderline legal products that everyone falls for this Black Friday month – beware:
Now let's foscus on six general Black Friday scams that are making their rounds this November.
1. 'Like Farming' Through Facebook Offers
Facebook's algorithm favors posts that are generating more interactions. What scammers do is create fake but believable campaigns with incredible prices for all kinds of products. Naturally, these posts are being shared by naive people online facilitating this way exposure to millions of potential victims.
The websites advertised are phoney and steal your credit card number and personal information, many times leading to identity theft. They promise free MacBooks, smartphones, and further discounts on Black Friday items.
However, once the message has reached enough people, the page or post is altered, perhaps to a different product they can get serious cash from through a pay-per-click scheme.
The Better Business Bureau warns: "Scammers may also sell the page and information that was collected from the "likes" with a more direct threat of gaining access in an attempt to gather credit card numbers that may be stored for certain Facebook apps, passwords or other personal information. New pages created from gathered data may be used to spread malicious software to compromise data or spread malware".
2. Delivery Issues With Your Purchase
Amazon has become the biggest online retailer in the world. If you're one of the millions of people with an Amazon prime account and plan to buy something on this Black Friday, pay attention to the emails incoming the day after your purchase. Every year, scammers send bulk messages to everyone, claiming to be from Fedex, UPS or Amazon.
"Your package couldn't be shipped. Please click here to update your address or method of payment", the email may say. Ignore it and go ahead with your day, it's a typical scam happening during holidays.
3. Fake Black Friday Products
Don't be taken in by scams from online electronic stores advertising prices so unrealistic as to be almost laughable. iPad's for $11 and digital cameras for $4 are the stuff of fantasies, yet thousands of people every year send payment to these fake online stores and never receive any merchandise.
High-end designer clothes are also something that scammers use as bait for victims. Worse, these crooks now have your credit card information, with which they will undertake their own shopping spree – at your expense.
Watch the video below to see this kind of fake deals exposed in action:
4. Black Friday Email Offers
Many retailers rely on email blast advertising to get the word out about their Black Friday deals, but beware of unsolicited emails. Scammers replicate famous brands' websites and redirect you to questionable plaforms that have nothing to do with the real companies. Look at the domain name listed in the browser. Is the brand name mispelled (e.g. Wa1mart.com)? That's a red flag indeed. Does the 'http' have an 's' at the end, meaning 'secure' for financial transactions? If not, close the window and delete the message.
Ignore these emails unless you know you subscribed to these major companies' newsletters. They are most likely part of a phishing scam and are only out to get your personal information. Never click on links in these emails.
5. Black Friday Gift Cards
There has been a wealth of problems with third-party sellers offering used gift cards for big-name retailers at steep discounts. The authorities have warned consumers to avoid these deals for the simple reason that they are typically stolen cards. The cards will be disabled and all you'll have to show for your investment is a worthless piece of plastic.
6. Black Friday Individual Offers
Be cautious when shopping online auctions and classified ads, on websites like Craigslist, Oodle or Kijiji. Many fake sites crop up, especially as the holidays are near. To be sure that the site or an individual seller is on the up and up, do an internet search for their name, username, e-mail address or any other identifying factors. You may be shocked by what you find.
Black Friday Deals Scams: How To Avoid
The holiday shopping season can be a fun and enjoyable time if you exercise due diligence. As with any other time of the year, online shopping should only be done on secured sites. Be wary of unsolicited email blasts and do not click on links in these emails.
Finally, always be aware of anything that seems like too good a deal for the money; you are likely walking into a scam. Last but not least, make sure your computer is always up to date with the newest upgrades of your anti-virus software provider.
Black Friday Deals Scam: How To Report
Make your family and friends aware of this scam by sharing it on social media using the buttons provided. You can also officially report the scammers to the Federal Trade Commission using the link below:
How To Protect Yourself More
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