Cyber Monday and post-Black Friday are still ongoing, as of today. Bigger deals, with bigger discounts, are expected to be out there on various online retail stores. But, are you safe with all your online transactions?
How sure are you that your personal data aren’t compromised? Experts suggest an increase in these cybercrimes could happen as you go on holiday shopping. Here are some tips on what to look for before putting your details online.
Holiday scams you should look out for
On November 27, Black Friday happened in the US. It was one of the most awaited discount days for all customers who want to buy something for their loved ones, especially with the upcoming holidays.
However, here’s a scam warning that you might be interested to know about these discount days.
Security experts suggest online scams are now more prevalent today as compared before. With thousands of customers looking for online purchases, scammers and cybercriminals also put extra work to lure them.
Steven Merrill, the section chief of the FBI’s Financial Crimes section, said via NBC News that Black Friday and Cyber Monday would be the days wherein scammers tend to be more focused on scamming people and getting their personal info.
Add the fact that pandemic is still here, which results in more people looking to buy something online.
“The majority of people are going to be home, and they’re going to do their shopping online more so than ever,” he said.
Mieke Eoyang, a cybercrime specialist at Third Way, a security-minded think tank, said a primary way to trick people into visiting such lookalike sites is to email tempting coupons.
For example, scammers will pose as real retailers online. Most of them will send fake coupons and discount deals, for customers to visit the website attached to it.
Once the bait is captured, the fake website would offer items at their lowest prices– almost too good to be true deals– wherein customer will send their bank details online.
“Look out for deals that seem too good to be true that are emailed, and instead go to the website separately and see if that deal is actually on the website,” Eoyang said. “Because a lot of people are going to receive emails trying to tempt them into deals that are too good to be true.”
People are too stressed amid a pandemic
As further explained by Merrill, tricking people to buy too-good-to-be-true items could also be blamed on the pandemic.
Since the lockdown, people are becoming more agitated or make poor decisions.
“One thing we’ve seen as a result from covid, people are economically distressed and people tend to make decisions that they wouldn’t normally do because circumstances are different,” he said. “People tend to lose the ability to do due diligence and be careful.”
US Federal Trade Commission advises everyone to be more aware of their online purchases. Here are some of their best tips to watch out for:
- Don’t email any financial information
- Know the store you’re dealing with
- Keep records of everything you put online
- Think before you buy