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Nearly a quarter of 18 to 34-year-olds have experienced a Black Friday scam in the last five years, according to a new poll.
People generally flock to shops and online retail websites on a day like Black Friday to evaluate the best deals of the year. But besides all of the fun and deals, Black Friday is also a day when scammers make a killing.
Scammers are frequently using clever tactics to benefit from consumers looking to get the most out of the day.
Here’s a list of five common Black Friday scams you need to keep an eye out for:
- Phishing scams
Phishing usually involves scammers producing emails or websites that appear legitimate but that are made to gain illegal access to your private information. By way of example, you might find an email apparently from a reputed brand notifying you of a terrific Black Friday deal.
Somewhere inside the email, you may be asked to click on a link which will take you to the brand’s site where you can get into the offer. However, the link probably will not take you to the actual website. Instead, it is going to take you to a bogus website created by the scammer, where you will be asked to provide your personal details.
As a general rule, avoid any suspicious emails and sites prompting you to supply personal details.
- ‘Click and receive’ emails
These generally involve an out-of-the-blue email notification telling you that you have received a package that you don’t remember ever ordering. If this ever happens to you, simply pause for a minute and think. Clicking on any links might just lead to malware or viruses being unleashed on your device.
If you are not sure that a message is legitimate, contact the merchant that allegedly sent it via trusted channels. You can achieve this, by way of example, via phone or internet chat after obtaining the merchant’s website yourself.
- Deals that are too good to be true
“The old adage, ‘If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is’
It may only be a scam that intends to fool you into clicking on a malicious link. If you get an email or text offer and you are not sure of the origin, do not click any links. Instead, visit the merchant’s site directly to confirm the offer.
- Fake offers on Social Networking
Scammers often use social networking during Black Friday to market amazing fake offers for popular products. They will usually try to convince you to make a card payment or wire money quickly to obtain the merchandise.
Some might also attempt to solicit your personal information. Unless they are in the official, confirmed accounts of reputable brands, it may be safer to just keep away from Black Friday offers on social networking sites. A smart way to judge whether a wonderful deal is valid is to go online and Google the name of the merchant or deal and put in the word ‘scam’ following it.
You’ll find all sorts of information from different consumers who may have been scammed or reviews and articles which were written on it.
- Gift cards scams
Gift cards are another favourite for Black Friday scammers. By way of instance, you might run into a Black Friday ad asking you to give out your personal data, including your name and physical address, to acquire a complimentary gift card or voucher.
Another frequent gift card scam is where you are given a gift card offer for a fraction of its worth. You might then send money only to discover that the card is counterfeit, non-activated or beyond its usage window.
To prevent losing your money, only buy gift cards straight from respectable retailers.
Black Friday may be a prime time to score great deals and save money on purchases. To be sure you’re completely safe, it is a fantastic idea always to keep using a credit card, as you’ve got the security of Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act if things go wrong with a purchase
Also see The Financial Ombudsman Services Website: https://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/businesses/complaints-deal/consumer-credit/goods-services-bought-credit.