Top Five most common Black Friday Scams

Top Five most common Black Friday Scams

        Black Friday gives scammers a golden opportunity to con people out of their hard-earned money. Aussies lost more than $2 billion to scams in 2021.
Find out the five most common scams to keep an eye out for...

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) latest Targeting Scams report revealed Aussies lost more than $2 billion to scams in 2021.

Reported losses to all organisations totalled almost $1.8 billion, but as one-third of victims do not report scams the ACCC estimated actual losses were well over $2 billion.

Black Friday gives scammers a golden opportunity to con people out of their hard-earned money.

Scammers send convincing and effective phishing schemes that can ultimately lead to identity theft and credit card fraud.

Fake Websites - scammers copy the colour scheme and logos of well-known and trusted brands to create clone websites.

Here are the five most common scams to keep an eye out for:

1. Black Friday promotions

A lot of major retailers promote their Black Friday discounts via email and this gives scammers the perfect opportunity to send out phishing emails that don’t look suspicious or out of place.

How does the scam work?
Phishing emails that advertise Black Friday discounts, usually mimicking large companies and brands. The scammers create a fake email address so it looks real when it pops up in people’s mail boxes, and they will copy the format, logo and colours of genuine emails sent out from the retailer. The email will contain a link to the ‘retailer’s’ website to click if you want to access the sale. However this will take you to a bogus website to steal your information.

What to do
Check the email sender's email address (not the display name). Look for random numbers, letters or symbols that look suspicious. Phishing emails are getting more difficult to detect, but bad formatting and spelling/grammar is also usually a big give away. If you do click on the website link – double check the website URL.

2. 'There is a problem with your delivery’ message

Due to volume, Scammers know this tactic will work around Black Friday and Christmas as people may lose track of what they’ve got on order and they may worry about a gift not turning up.

How does this scam work?
Scammers pose as a well-known delivery service, like Fedex or Fastways, and send out messages to say that there’s a problem with your delivery. There will be a link to click to ‘rearrange your delivery’. The link will take you to a malicious website that looks like the genuine site where they might capture your personal information so they can steal your identity and maybe also ask you to pay for your delivery to be rearranged.

What to do
Go to the courier’s genuine website through your search engine. Enter your tracking number into the courier’s tracking portal. This will tell you whether there are any delivery problems.

3. Facebook and Instagram messages

Scammers hack into Facebook and Instagram accounts and send out hundreds of messages to the hacked users’ followers and friends or family.

How does this scam work?
Scammers will pretend to be the person they have hacked, and send out links to fake retail websites which are supposedly offering the best deals, gift cards or vouchers. The link takes you to malicious website which has purely been designed to steal your information.

What to do
If you receive a message like this from anyone then you should always contact them via an alternative method to check whether it’s genuine.

4. Fake Black Friday retailers

Some criminals will set up entirely fake and malicious retail websites which advertise products that simply don’t exist.

How this scam works
Images and descriptions are stolen from genuine retailers but advertised on the fake website at a much cheaper price. They usually use social media and phishing emails to advertise their website and the promotions. If you order a product from one of these website, then the scammers will disappear with your personal information and bank details and the items you ordered will never arrive.

What to do
Make sure you only purchase at the brand’s genuine website, or a well-known trusted stockist like Amazon. Only shop on websites with a padlock symbol in the address bar and a URL that starts with HTTPS. This means that it’s a safe and secure website.

5. Black Friday vouchers and gift cards

This phishing scam can come via email, text or social media message and offers deals on gift cards or vouchers for well-known retailers who are running Black Friday sales.

How this scam works
Scammers send a link to a website that looks very similar to the retailer’s site, where you can claim your gift cards or vouchers. They may also run a survey or competition for you to win them. The website will ask for your personal details for identity theft or to try and log into your bank account.

What to do
ALWAYS be cautious of any unsolicited message. Don’t click on any links that have been sent to you and if you’re interested in something, access it via your search engine instead.