According to the Federal Trade Commission, $1.48 billion was reported lost last year due to fraud, an increase of 38 percent over the previous year.
While we’re all always looking for a good deal, without paying close attention when clicking around online, you could easily find yourself being out thousands of dollars, and with low-quality, counterfeit shoes and bags.
To avoid that being your reality this holiday shopping season, fraud prevention company RedMarlin has compiled a list of Black Friday and Cyber Monday scams consumers should look out for this year.
Scammers have found a new way to attract crypto traders and enthusiasts by offering huge discounts and cashback offers. It starts with an email claiming to offer steep discounts on bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies. Once the user lands the webpage, they will receive a promo code and will be redirected to a page with several purchase options where the user needs to opt for a method of payment and enter their banking details.
Gift card scams
You’ve likely seen deals that seem way too good to be true. They are. Consumers should be particularly wary on social media channels like Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp for offers like “Pay $10 to receive $100 in gift cards. If you’re buying a gift card, make sure you’re purchasing directly from the correct seller. Better yet, pop into a local drugstore or supermarket to avoid the digital threat altogether.
If you find yourself entering a landing webpage with a pop-up telling you that you’ve been chosen to participate in an anonymous survey, your best bet is to put your guard up. Scammers will replicate the language used on a true retailer’s page asking for your “valuable feedback for a chance to win …” Instead of going for the “$80 exclusive reward,” check the URL and make sure you’re really on an authentic website, not a Walmart look-alike, like “walmarty.com.”
Fake shopping websites
While fake shopping sites are not new, the tactics in which they’re being deployed and spread continue to evolve. Facebook and Instagram ads, for example, are a prime gateway. Be wary next time you follow a “Nike Black Friday Cheap Deals” link if the website has a strange URL and images that could have easily been grabbed from Google. You’ll be waiting forever, literally, before the illegitimate business sends them to your doorstep.