BEWARE!!! Black Friday and Cyber Monday Scams

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We all know its the Christmas shopping season again and ‘Black Friday’ and ‘Cyber Monday’ are the most busiest days of the year for online shopping due to the amount of discounted items in stores. A Lot of retailers slash prices to attract customers to their store. It is also a busy time for cybercriminals and it is recorded that many attempted online shopping scams occur during the festive shopping period than any other day. The lure of last minute deals for customers can encourage them to make impulse purchase decisions, and to act with less care and vigilance than usual. This leaves them vulnerable to scammers and  cybercriminals. She Secures wants to keep you safe while you don’t miss out on the most deals.

Here are some tips to keep you safe while shopping for the season

1. Watch out for fake websites

Cybercriminals can easily create websites to mimic legit retailers with little differences. Always check the URL of the website for slight misspellings, it may look very close to a genuine retailer. For example, Ebay.com mistaken for Ebbay.com, If you don’t take your time, you could unintentionally give away sensitive information, receive inferior products or may not receive anything.

2. Make sure the site is secure

Before entering a credit card payment or any confidential information on an ecommerce site ensure that the URL of the website have additional ‘S’ to the ‘http://’ and also a green padlock at the top left of the browser that indicates security.  Never buy anything from a website that does not have ‘https’.  

Sample image showing secure site.

3. Beware of Phishing Scams

During the sales season, phishing messages from cybercriminals may come in form of emails designed to look like trusted retailers are offering exciting deals or cash prizes, but the links within the email would direct you to websites built to capture a victim’s personal or financial information. You know is a phishing mail when -:

  • Poor grammar or spelling in the message.
  • Offer seems too good to be true. 
  • The message ask for personal information 
  • Check out the header from the email address   
  • Review the signature. 
  • Hover on the embedded links, if it look suspicious do not click. 
<Image: https://heimdalsecurity.com/blog/abcs-detecting-preventing-phishing>

  BEWARE!!! Black Friday and Cyber Monday Scams

4. Fake coupon and false freebies on social media

Don’t trust messages offering cash or free gadgets even if they’re from your friends. Messages like “Free iPhone X from apple for the first 1000 people” may lead you to giveaway important information from your device or download a program to qualify. Always check the company’s official social media page for giveaways in other not to fall into a scammers trap. Delete messages like these even if they look like they’ve come from someone you trust and install security software on your device. If you have to pay for a freebie, do not request for it.

5. Avoid shopping on public WiFi

Public WiFi can be very convenient but vulnerable. Most online shoppers are unaware that a skilled fraudster can sniff their wireless data at WiFi hotspots and have access to their account information. If you’re shopping online use your own network. Ensure your devices are updated regularly.

6. Always use strong passwords

Strong passwords are compulsory on accounts that contain your personal information, they should be updated regularly, and should never be the same for different accounts. Always follow best password practice.

Do not give answer security questions when checking out, and always use a credit card that is not tied directly to your personal bank account.

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