Black Friday and holiday shopping is a time of year that brings out the best in people. It’s a time when we all want to be generous, buy gifts for our loved ones and give back. The problem is, it’s also a time when scammers are at their most active.
Here are four scams to watch out for:
- The Amazon Prime Scam. In this ruse, a scammer posing as an Amazon representative calls up the victim to notify them about an alleged problem with their Prime account. The victim is prompted to download a tool onto their computer or mobile device so the caller can gain remote access to “help them resolve the problem” at hand. They’ll then be instructed to log onto their banking account so they can be compensated for their time. Unfortunately, this will give the scammer free reign over the victim’s accounts.
- Phishing Emails. In these scams, the victim receives an email allegedly sent by Amazon or another large retailer asking them to verify or update their account. Or it might be to supposedly confirm an order. By using the link dropped into the email, users will give their personal information directly to scammers.
- Delivery Issue. Delivery scams generally take the form of a message appearing to be from UPS or another delivery service, informing the victim of a “delivery issue” with an order. They’ll be asked to confirm or update their info using a provided link. Doing so gives the scammer access to their financial information and opens the door to identity theft and more.
- Non-Delivery Scam. This scam involves a purchased gift that never arrives. Unfortunately, the seller disappears after payment, leaving the victim with no way of notifying them about the no-show or for requesting a refund.
Avoid Black Friday scams
- Never grant a stranger access to your device and/or accounts.
- Don’t open links sent in emails from unverified contacts.
- Never share sensitive information with an unknown contact.
- Keep the privacy and spam settings on your devices at their strongest settings.
- If you have an issue with an ordered item, contact the retailer directly through their site.
- When shopping on a new site, look for a physical address, a customer service number, and copy that’s free of spelling errors.
Happy shopping, and stay safe!