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Beware of these Black Friday online scams

CAPE TOWN – Black Friday has become an important day in South Africa’s annual retail calendar. 

This is shown in reports by ABSA bank which estimated that two out of three South Africans participated in Black Friday sales in 2018.

Another report by FNB stated that in 2018, Black Friday transaction volumes grew by 16% compared with 2017 and anticipates a 15% increase in transactions over the sales period in 2019. 

As big as it is, customers need to be aware of online scams because cybercriminals will take advantage of this big day. 

Here is a list of different types of scams to watch out for:

1. Fake websites

Cybercriminals will create fake domains and subdomains which duplicate legitimate e-commerce websites.

2. Phishing scams 

A Phishing scam happens when criminals send an email that appears to be from a legitimate company and ask you to send them private information such as your card details, ID number, etc. 
 
Once a criminal has access to this information, they will then get your bank details or other accounts and it can be used for identity theft. 

3. Fake social media pages

In the era of fake profiles and buying followers, it is very easy for a criminal to create a duplicate profile of a verified merchant and message customers and pretend to help them with queries. 

Here are tips that can help you get through to Cyber Monday without getting scammed:

1. Beware of fake websites and emails

If the links look suspicious to you or you’re not sure of the source of the email, do not open them.

Customers should go directly to the retailer’s website to verify any information or they should call their bank to check if they sent them an email. 

2. Use computer security software to help you avoid fake websites

To help you avoid fake websites, using software from computer security companies such as Mcafee or Kaspersky will warn you when a website is unsafe or unstable. 

3. Avoid using public Wi-Fi when you are shopping online

Public Wi-fi is very unsecure and cybercriminals can hack it and use it to gain access to private information on your laptop or phone. 

4.  Create better passwords

Having a strong password is essential when shopping on any online retailer's website as it helps you keep your online identity and accounts safe from hackers. 
 

Written by: Gabriella Steyn.

Guzzle Media 

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