American consumers spent billions of dollars on Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals just in 2022. Approximately $20 billion was spent solely online last holiday season according to an article on USA Today! Online shopping is quickly becoming the preferred way to buy during the holidays, and while these events offer great deals, they also allow cybercriminals to exploit unsuspecting consumers. Below, we will explore six common Black Friday and Cyber Monday scams, in hopes to help you protect your finances and personal information this coming holiday season.
Criminal Defense Lawyer Dives Into Common Black Friday and Cyber Monday Scams
1. Fake Order
Phishing, an old trick, has become much more advanced thanks to modern day technology. In fake order scams, scammers send deceptive text messages or emails, claiming there are issues with your online order(s). They often pretend to be trusted companies like Amazon or eBay. Clicking their link can lead to a page asking for your sensitive information, which scammers can misuse for fraud, including bank scams.
2. Fake Delivery Notification
Expanding on the phishing concept, cybercriminals send fake delivery notifications via text or email. These messages, too, typically appear to be sent from reputable carriers like FedEx or the U.S. Postal Service. These notifications prompt recipients to click on a link to confirm their delivery information like address, name, and contact information. Thus, unknowingly providing scammers with personal information.
3. Non-Delivery Hack
If a Black Friday or Cyber Monday deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. When shopping online, you should always get an order confirmation with a tracking number. With this scam, however, you won’t receive such confirmation, and the promised package will never arrive. When you attempt to resolve the issue, the seller will disappear.
4. Gift Card Hack
Online stores may request payment using digital gift cards or coupons, which are untraceable. This makes them a prime target for scammers, because once they get the card details it’s nearly impossible to get the money back. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), one out of every four fraud victims reports using a gift card for payment. Be cautious of deals that mimic genuine gift card offers, as hackers also go after gift cards for cryptocurrency theft.
5. Charity Scam
During the holiday season, many people display their generosity by making donations to charities. Unfortunately, scammers take advantage of this kind-hearted spirit through charity fraud schemes. These schemes impersonate genuine charity groups, employing counterfeit websites and social media initiatives to trick donors. To protect your donations, it’s advisable to refer to the FTC’s guidelines for researching charities before making contributions.
6. Website Scam
Cybercriminals create imitation websites that closely resemble well-known online stores and e-commerce platforms. These counterfeit websites can easily deceive unsuspecting consumers who don’t recognize the subtle distinctions. Falling victim to this scam can result in financial fraud, with criminals stealing credit card information and personal details. Make sure both you and your family are vigilant about identifying these fraudulent websites to safeguard against child identity theft.
Contact Our Criminal Defense Lawyer Anytime
While Black Friday and Cyber Monday offer fantastic shopping opportunities, it’s crucial to remain vigilant and protect yourself from potential scams. By arming yourself with knowledge and awareness, you can shop confidently and safeguard your finances during the holiday season. If you have questions or want to discuss a potential scam you’ve experienced, contact our criminal defense lawyer today.