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BLACK FRIDAY SALES = PEAK SCAMMER SEASON

Written by on 23/11/2023

Tomorrows Black Friday Sales are expected to generate some $6.3 Billion in sales over four days – around 10% of the total festive season spend and that’s an $188 million increase from the 2022 figures..

The NT is projected to do around $51 million of that total.

Discounts however, aren’t the only thing to watch out for as this also means peak season for cyber scammers hoping that the flood of emails and text messages from major brands and retailers will work to their advantage.

According to Scamwatch, Aussies have already lost over $397 million this year (January to September 2023) and online shopping scans are the third highest reported type of scam.

Things to watch out for

Dodgy GR Codes

There has been a spike in email scams using QR codes that link to fake websites.

Just like clicking links, make sure the QR code has come from the source it says and if you’re not sure, contact the organisation through an official channel first before scanning and check that eh code links to a legitimate site before entering any information.

You can also check regular hyperlinks by hovering your moue over them to check the full domain address.

Phishing emails

Fake emails by scammers are not new, but they are getting more sophisticated and are now using AI to correct spelling mistakes and poor grammar as well as using familiar logos or brand cues to lure you in. During a peak shopping season like Black Friday, you are already receiving more emails from retailers than normal, so make sure you keep your guard up. If an offer seems to goo to be true, it probably is. And always watch out for inconsistencies, unfamiliar greetings or requests for sensitive information.

Impersonation Scams

These imitate reputable companies like couriers, or retailers offering fake discounts, claiming a product hasn’t paid for, or an amount must be paid before delivery, a membership needs renewing – they often rely on a sense of urgency and attempt to pressure you into taking action immediately.

Slow down and carefully read the email or SMS, If you are unsure or the message is unexpected, reach out to the sender’s official phone number or email or website to check before taking any action. If you are expecting deliveries, go back to your original receipt/notification and get your tracking information from there.

Payment Methods

Paying for goods over the internet by direct deposit can be risky as there is usually much less purchase protection compared to other payment methods like credit card, or payment platforms such as PayPal. This makes buying second-hand goods risky as there may be little recourse to get your money back if goods don’t arrive or things go wrong.

And remember, if you are getting in on the retail therapy, it’s always a good idea to have a “plan” and to do your research with what your going to spend your hard earned cash on before you get caught up in the excitement of the weekend.

 

Article complied from various sources including HerdMSL and the National Retail Association.

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