It’s almost Thanksgiving and that means that Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday are just around the corner. A survey done by the National Retail Federation found 30.6 million plan to shop either in-store or online on Thanksgiving Day, 108 million on Black Friday, 58.1 million on Small Business Saturday, 31.2 million on Sunday, and 62.8 million on Cyber Monday.
U.S. consumers are set to spend a record $36.40 billion online during the five-day stretch from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday, Digital Commerce 360 projects, up from $34.36 billion in 2020, according to an article by digitalcommerce360.
With all of that opportunity from consumers looking for a quick sale, cybercriminals are ready to take advantage.
1. Fake Retail Websites – This is when a fake retailer uses a phony website and promotes a sale with items that are difficult to find or sold out elsewhere. You’ll order the item, but never receive any form of confirmation of your purchase, you won’t receive the item, and the seller will disappear.
a. How to avoid this scam- Stick to reputable retailers, when using a new retailer do your research by looking at customer reviews, making sure you are on a secure site that is listed as https:, and ensure the site is using correct spelling and grammar.
2. Social Media Giveaway Scams – It’s the season of giving and influencers and businesses alike are posting their special holiday giveaways. Scammers are creating fake accounts to pose as popular pages that you follow to steal your personal information. The fake account will likely follow you, post about their recent giveaway, or create the account on the coat tails of the real influencer or business posting a true giveaway. They will send you a direct message you, informing you that you’ve won and asking for your personal information.
a. How to avoid this scam – Compare the “scam” page to the page of the person or business, are they both verified with a blue checkmark? Look for typos or a small misspelling in the name. Be wary of who you share your personal information with online.
3. Package Tracking Scams – This is formally known as a smishing attack. Smishing is a form of phishing that involves a text message or phone number. AARP reports, “about a third of adults have received a fake notification from someone saying they are UPS, FedEx, or USPS.”
In a package tracking scam, you’ll receive a text message sent from an unrecognized number posing as UPS, USPS, or FedEx. With the number of packages that consumers are ordering – it’s easy to want to click on the link to “see where your package is”. Unless you signed up directly and recently to track your package on a UPS site, this is likely a scam.
a. How to avoid this scam – Do not click on the link, you should instead delete or ignore the message all together. If you do have packages that you are concerned about, visit the postal service’s website page directly and track your package from there.
If you’d like to learn more about what you can do to better protect your data, schedule a risk analysis with us.