It’s not just e-tailers and customers who are gearing up for the end-of-year shopping bonanza unleashed by Black Friday on Friday 25 November. Shoppers are cautioned to be on high alert for potential cyber scams as fraudsters and scammers would most certainly try to cash in on the online retail surge.
“We have to be on the lookout for dodgy deals and be smart when it comes to prices that seem ‘too good to be true’. Unfortunately, more online shopping activity means more opportunities for cybercrimes to take place,” cyber security expert and GoldPhish CEO Dan Thornton warned.
Black Friday has become one of the biggest shopping days on the South African calendar and heralds the start of the festive season in the country. Online shoppers need to be cyber savvy to avoid scams. Image: Adobe Stock
Six safety tips to side-step Black Friday and Cyber Monday scams
Thornton shared six essential tips to follow before clicking “Add to cart” this Black Friday.
1. If a deal is too good to be true, it probably is
Of course, Black Friday is all about massive discounts, but don’t let that cloud your common sense. If you’re unsure about a link or a voucher, or a price just seems too low, head over to the retailer’s site directly. If the deal is legitimate, it will be there.
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2. Don’t give out any of your personal information
Legitimate companies will never ask for you to share your bank details or passwords via text messages. If they’re an online retailer, they will be aware of the prevalence of scams and will confidently provide you with proof of their legitimacy.
3. Treat social media marketplaces with extreme caution
If you’re considering purchasing a product from a social media profile page, check how long the business has been around, how many followers it has and whether the customer reviews come from real accounts.
4. Only sign off on secure payments
When entering your details into a website, make sure there is a little padlock symbol in the address bar. In addition, always check that the URL from the site you’re inputting details into, begins with https:// as this signals that your data will be encrypted.
5. Only use credit cards
It is a lot easier for your bank to refund you if you’ve been scammed and you used a credit card to make the transaction. Transferring money directly from your account or using a debit card can make the refund process much more difficult.
6. If you’ve been scammed, react immediately
Your top priority is to contact your bank. Your credit cards must be replaced, and you must change your security details on your bank accounts. In addition, you need to be quick about resetting passwords and maximising the security settings on your online shopping accounts.