Don’t Fall Prey to Scammers This Black Friday

Scammers Are Out In FULL Force – How To Avoid Them

( – When it comes to a good Black Friday deal, it’s hard to believe how good some of them are! Most people are open-minded and willing to accept these legitimate deals since they are usually able to something special for their families or something they need. Unfortunately, fraudsters love to scam unsuspecting people this time of year. While this issue primarily affects seniors, people of all ages and experience levels are being scammed. Having some expertise in the common types of scams can prevent you or a loved one from falling victim to these criminals.

Going Phishing

Phishing is a tactic used by scammers, usually via email, to trick you into revealing your personal information. If you click on an untrustworthy website and enter your personal information, you have just given it to a scammer who may sell it on the dark web. Take your time reading emails, especially checking the sending email address, and ensure you click on a legitimate site. Remember, most legitimate websites will not ask you for your personal information in an email.

Fraudulent Website

This goes hand in hand with phishing, and is precisely what it sounds like: a deceptive website. Fraudsters can use artificial intelligence to copy and recreate legitimate websites, making them harder to detect. Always check the URL at the top of your browser to ensure you are on the official website. Additionally, you should never click on a link in an email that redirects to a website unless you are sure the email is from a verified source.

Card Skimmers

Card dispensers are commonly added to pumps at gas stations and other kiosks. They read your card as you swipe and store the number. Always check the booth before dragging, touching, or inserting a card into a reader. If you suspect the reader has been tampered with, report it to the service provider and do not swipe your card.

Item Order Issue

“Due to an address issue, the USPS could not deliver the package. Please enter your details to continue.”

No one likes to miss out on packages being delivered during the holidays. But – this particular email is a scam. The USPS does not ask for personal information in the mail; if you are unsure, you can call or go to the post office in person.

This kind of scam works, especially during the holiday season, because we worry that there will be problems or delays in sending gifts to our loved ones.

The Fake Charity

Not all charities – even famous ones – are well-known. Charity scammers are primarily active during the holiday season, as 36% of donations are made during the holiday season. Fortunately, you can use an AARP and FTC-recommended third-party websites, such as CharityWatch, to check all aspects of your charity work before you donate.

How to Avoid Black Friday Scams

There are several ways to avoid Black Friday scams:

  • Always check the sender’s email address, the copy or words in the email, and the destination of each reply or click.
  • For the best deals, head straight to your favorite online store (like Walmart or Amazon) by typing in the search box – or better yet, use their official app.
  • Always use the credit card with the lowest limit for purchases. This way, your credit card is less susceptible to changes, and fraudsters cannot access your payment means.
  • Check stores at gas stations or other self-service points, as these are familiar places for scammers to target. If you see a credit card skimmer, don’t use it and let the seller know immediately.

Finally, always plan your actions and don’t wait until the last minute to do your holiday shopping. Scammers get more active as the season progresses. The sooner you make your purchases, the less likely you will make a mistake or fall for a scam.

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