Black Friday Scams
6 Black Friday Scams To Avoid This Year
Watch out for tricky Black Friday scams 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. One common Black Friday scam is the delivery trick, but let’s look at six variations of it.
Stores are geared up to price items at steep discounts, and bargain hunters come in droves to take advantage of the ridiculously low prices (as in the Best Price Home Scam, Computer Mill PS5 or the HomeTaxMart one). But some bargains that seem too good to be true well, they really are.
Let’s focus on six general Black Friday scams that are making their rounds:
1. 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.
Fake 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 Black Friday scam exposed in action:
On the good news side, we researched some trustworthy products that are being recommended on Amazon as Black Friday week promos. The items below have a 100% approval rating from hundreds of reviews each.
2. Black Friday Scam: Delivery Issues
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. This, indeed, least to a bunch of Amazon scams or bogus Fedex text messages.
“Your package couldn’t be shipped. Please click here to update your address or method of payment“, the email or text may say. Ignore it and go ahead with your day. It’s a typical scam happening during the holidays.
Here is more on how to stay safe online.
3. Black Friday Email Offers
Many retailers rely on email blast advertising to get the word out about their Black Friday deals. However, beware of unsolicited emails. Scammers replicate famous brands’ websites and redirect you to questionable platforms that have nothing to do with the real companies. Look at the domain name listed in the browser. Is the brand name misspelled (e.g. Walmart.com spelled with a capital “i” instead of “l”)? 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.
Here is how to report scam emails.
4. ‘Like Farming’ Through Facebook Offers
One prevalent Black Friday scam happens on social media. 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 phony 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”.
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.
Beware of this Black Friday scam, which happens every year. Here is a whole category of gift card scams.
6. Black Friday Individual Offers
Be cautious when shopping online using auctions and classified ads. This could lead to a bunch of Craigslist scams, OfferUp scams, and Facebook Marketplace scams, just to mention three examples. 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.
For the end, watch the video below to see a consumer exposing borderline legal products that everyone falls for this Black Friday:
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 Black Friday 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: How To Report a Scammer
Make your family and friends aware of these Black Friday scams by sharing the article 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
If you want to be the first to find out the most notorious scams every week, feel free to subscribe to the Scam Detector newsletter here. You’ll receive periodical emails and we promise not to spam. Last but not least, use the Comments section below to expose other Black Friday scammers.
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