The 2021 Black Friday is touted to become the largest retail event in the MENA region (the Middle East and North America) with consumers spending as much as $6 billion in online shopping. Research has shown that 65% of purchases will be in the fashion, grocery, and home sectors!
Where there is money, there is fraud. This exciting quarter has also presented an opportunity for fraudsters to trick consumers by defrauding them in the smartest ways possible to pocket their spending. Covid19 has further opened doors to online warfare as consumers are now shopping online to avoid crowds therefore, consumers, in their fervor to grab the best deal, don’t take necessary precautions to protect their personal and financial information.
Here’s are some threats to look out for before you jump with excitement about grabbing the hottest deal of the Black Friday Sale 2021:
1. Don’t click that link on your mail
It’s the season of promotions and sales. Brands woo their customers with mouthwatering deals and unbeatable offers. But is the deal too good to be true?
“iPhone 13 pro at 1200 SAR! Click here to grab the deal before the black Friday sale ends”
Luring customers with such deals is a fraudsters’ favorite way to trick you into divulging your financial information easily. Such mails are commonly referred to as ‘phishing emails’. These criminals create fake email addresses and fake sites on the pretext of the brand and send emails on their behalf. These links contain malicious content which can harm your device and hijack it. When you click on the link, you’re taken to a fake lookalike website, and as soon as you enter your bank details and other information, voila! You’re hacked!
Make sure to identify the sender’s address on the mail and confirm the authenticity of the webpage you land on.
2. Try your luck ‘lucky wheel contest’
This does bring back the nostalgia when as kids the spinning wheel contest gave you butterflies, and the anticipation of winning was the adrenaline rush. But wait, are these contests genuine anymore, especially in the digital world?
During Black Friday sales promotions, online contests are run to grab customer attention, but fraudsters leverage it to collect your personal data and empty your bank accounts. Each section of the wheel guarantees a prize, a plasma TV, a smartphone, or maybe a car! Beware! Do not enter such contests which guarantee prizes because that may just be your last!
3. Fake social media messages
Another common trick in a fraudster’s scamming hat is defrauding customers by sending out fake messages on social media. Once they get hold of someone’s contact list via WhatsApp or Facebook messenger, they send messages citing that some online store is giving away pre-loaded gift cards. All one has to do is follow the link and enter their personal information to get access to the gift card.
Keep your eyes open! These links contain viruses that hack into your device, and they can then commit financial fraud by using your details.
4. Those nasty pop-ups and fake ads
Spreading viruses and malware aren’t restricted to phishing emails. They take shapes and forms on the internet in the form of pop-ups and advertisements- generally referred to as malvertising. Such ads send you to web pages that ask for personal data and also infect the device with a wide range of harmful programs- spyware, ransomware, adware, and more. Compromising your device safety and personal data due to ad fraud is not the right way to shop this Black Friday.
5. Fake product delivery
Getting your hands on something you’ve been longing for at the best price possible is a dream come true for every shopper. Couple it for free delivery, now that’s how your festival season is made. As happy as one could get, you enter your details, home address, and bank account details on an online store (without a second look at the URL), awaiting your most prized Gucci bag.
As the parcel is delivered to you, it suddenly hits you that the product is not genuine but a copy of the brand you purchased! Did you basically end up paying a bomb, even in the sale, to get hold of a fake product? Black Friday sales are marred with fake product deliveries so always ensure that you have the right website with actual customer care support, in case there’s an issue with your product delivery.
Luckily, mFilterIt specializes in filtering distrust in the digital ecosystem and adding a layer of trust for the consumers and brands alike with ad-fraud detection and prevention solutions. The evolution of technology has made it possible to weed out such fraudsters from the ecosystem and safeguard your money.
It is becoming more important than ever to deploy safety measures in the form of tools and solutions which help maintain the trust between the consumer and the brand. Having said that, enjoy the black Friday sale but keep your eyes open!