In a recent survey conducted by Lookout, it has been found that more than 3 out of 5 individuals are expected to take advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals through their mobile phones this year. However, security experts are cautioning these eager shoppers about potential malware attacks that could lead to serious consequences, including phishing and other social engineering attacks.
While most official shopping websites are legitimate, there is a growing concern about scammers peddling counterfeit products on platforms like Facebook Marketplace or Instagram. Engaging with such fraudulent sellers not only puts online shoppers at risk of receiving substandard products but also increases the likelihood of hackers stealing their banking credentials for financial gain.
Beyond the aforementioned Thanksgiving cyber scams, there are other malicious tactics employed by cyber-criminals to compromise accounts and pilfer sensitive information.
Incorrect Transaction Alerts: During the festive season, individuals may receive calls, messages, or emails claiming that a recent shopping transaction failed, urging victims to provide additional banking details to facilitate the processing of their ordered service or product. However, responding to such communications can be perilous, as criminals may exploit the shared data to drain money from the victims’ accounts.
Fake Promotions: Platforms like Instagram and Facebook Marketplace are rife with fake product promotions promising enticing discounts, cashbacks, or free items. Shoppers are advised to exercise caution, verify the authenticity of offers, and double-check before making transactions to avoid falling prey to counterfeit products, particularly in categories such as sunglasses, watches, smartphones, tablets, and TVs.
Parcel Tracking Scams: Cyber crooks often employ malicious links in scams, enticing individuals to divulge personal details or redirecting them to fake Black Friday deal websites featuring products only in photo format. In reality, the goods will never be delivered to the customer.
Brute Force on Websites: Cyber criminals are increasingly using software to guess passwords on websites. Once they breach the security, they place orders using stolen credit card information and redirect the parcels to temporary addresses, leaving victims with unauthorized charges.
Fake Coupon Codes: Searching for free coupon codes on Google yields hundreds of results, but the vast majority are fake and harbor malicious intentions. It is recommended to rely on coupon codes or discounts provided directly by shopping websites and avoid falling for deceptive platforms claiming to offer Black Friday or Thanksgiving deals or free coupon codes.