Cybersecurity experts are warning unwitting online bargain hunters to be wary of potential ‘Black Friday Fraudsters’ who may use the popular discount day as a window of opportunity to dupe them out of their hard earned cash.
With November being the most popular month to make online purchases*, Black Friday presents cybercriminals with the perfect hunting ground.
Jason Fry is a cybersecurity specialist at PAV i.t. services. He has worked with dozens of corporate and independent businesses across the UK helping them to review and update their cybersecurity policies, procedures and solutions. He said:
“Whilst online shoppers across the country will be looking to snap up the very best deals before they sell out, fraudsters will be using the Black Friday shopping frenzy as an ideal time to infiltrate inboxes with bogus bargains and hoax holiday deals.”
“Tempting emails containing fake offers and illegitimate links could lead to unsuspecting individuals handing over cash and personal data or falling foul of ransomware [the increasingly common trend of holding a computer and its associated data hostage until the victim pays a hefty sum for its release].”
And it’s not just those with personal email accounts that should be vigilant of prowling pranksters. Office workers are increasingly being bombarded too with over 960 reports of email scams made to Action Fraud being responsible for losses of £32 million between July 2015 and January 2016.
“Online fraudsters are becoming extremely sophisticated and effective in the way they carry out their crimes. It is now harder than ever to spot a spoof and many illegitimate emails will perfectly replicate a well-known retailer when in fact they are complete cons.
“The best advice is to never click directly on links in emails, but to verify its legitimacy by opening up a browser separately and directly visiting the retailer’s website instead.”