7 Black Friday Scams To Avoid This Year
Watch out for tricky Black Friday scams this year if you’re looking for the best offers and promotions. Whether you need smartphones, TVs, laptops, tools, tablets, gift cards, or even air fryers, this special day kicking off the holiday season could be a double-edged sword. The delivery scam is the most prevalent Black Friday trick, but let’s look at no less than seven variations.
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 if some deals that seem too good to be true, well, they are. The risks of buying online from these places are so significant that you could also be a victim of identity theft and lose your money.
In this article, I’ll debunk the Top 7 Black Friday scams. Here they are:
1. 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 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.
2. Black Friday Text Message Scam
There is a plethora of text messages going around this week. They vary in content, but the most popular one comes as a giveaway. The recipients are informed that their phone number was picked randomly as a prize winner. Here is an example: “Dear [name], your phone number [#] was picked in our PickNPay Black November Prize Draw. Grab your giveaway: irenuk.link.”
Avoid prizes coming out of the blue. Watch out for the Black Friday text message scam!
3. Fake Black Friday Products: How To Verify a Website
Refrain from being taken in by scams from online electronic stores advertising prices so unrealistic as to be almost laughable. iPads for $44 and digital cameras for $37 are the stuff of fantasies, yet thousands of people every year send payments 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 shopping spree – at your expense.
If you feel a Black Friday website might be suspicious, feel free to verify it using our unique Scam Detector validator. Check for scam websites below:
4. 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 actual 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 significant companies’ newsletters. They are likely phishing scams and are only out to get your personal information. Never click on links in these emails.
Here is how to report scam emails perpetrating Black Friday scams.
5. ‘Like Farming’ Through Facebook Offers
One prevalent Black Friday scam happens on social media. Facebook’s algorithm favors posts that generate more interactions. Scammers create fake but believable campaigns with incredible prices for all kinds of products. Naturally, these posts are being shared by naive people online, facilitating exposure to millions of potential victims.
The websites advertised are phony and steal your credit card number and personal information, often leading to identity theft. They promise free MacBooks, smartphones and 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 through a pay-per-click scheme.
The Better Business Bureau warns: “Scammers may also sell the page and information 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”.
6. 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 because 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.
7. Black Friday Individual Offers
Be cautious when shopping online using auctions and classified ads. This could lead to Craigslist scams, OfferUp scams, and Facebook Marketplace scams, 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, email address, or any other identifying factors. You may be shocked by what you find.
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 fun and enjoyable if you exercise due diligence. Like 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. Here are some safe Internet tips.
Finally, always be aware of anything that seems 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.
How To Report Black Friday Scams
Let your family and friends know about these 7 Black Friday scams. Feel free to share this article if it was helpful. Officially, you can report scammers and any other suspicious activity during this week to the Federal Trade Commission (most important), or to the Office of the Inspector General, and the FBI Internet Complaint Center. You can use the portals below:
How To Protect Yourself More
If you want to be amongst the first to receive alerts about the most prevalent scams every week, subscribe to our Scam Detector newsletter. You will receive periodic emails from us with insightful tips. They will include info on how to prevent fraud and information about the newest tools you can use to fight crime.
Meanwhile, feel free to educate yourself with some other fraud-related articles. They are listed under this paragraph, so that you know more about online security. Last but not least, if you have any bad experiences, make sure to use the comments section below to expose other Black Friday scammers.
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