Black Friday: How To Avoid Scams?
For the past few years, Black Friday has become an unmissable promotional period in France during the month of November. Taking advantage of the attraction of the discounts on consumers, cybercriminals are multiplying the number of scam attempts. In order to take advantage of these promotions without any risks, you must be particularly vigilant. Here are 5 common sense tips to know to avoid scams.
1- Beware of offers that are too tempting
The golden rule for avoiding scams during Black Friday is to take the time to think before you buy.
If a discount seems too good to be true, there may be something fishy going on... To foil the trap set by cybercriminals, a few checks are in order before buying.
Make sure the seller is reputable and the promotion is real by comparing the price of the same product on different e-commerce sites.
It may seem tedious, but without a little caution, you may acquire a counterfeit or never see the product you ordered online arrive.
2- Think before you buy
During big promotional operations like Black Friday, e-commerce sites multiply strategies to encourage you to buy quickly, by displaying for example the countdown of a flash sale.
Even if an offer seems irresistible to you because it's a great deal, don't give in to the rush! As we told you above, time to think is the best defense against the scams set up by cybercriminals to swindle Internet users.
Before giving out your credit card numbers, take the time to check the following:
- the real existence of the seller and the reviews about him on the web
- the reality of the promotion by comparison with prices and discounts offered elsewhere
- the security of the transaction (URL starting with https, presence of the padlock symbol, secure payment by sending a code by SMS...).
To be noted: when shopping online, be particularly vigilant before providing personal or banking data because the consequences can be very serious. On the web, scammers retrieve your data to impersonate you or tap your bank account.
Cybercriminals are now capable of making fraudulent copies of official sites or creating fake e-commerce sites with the sole purpose of defrauding you. You should keep your eyes open for fake sites that mimic existing businesses, including checking the spelling of the site and the company's mailing address.
3- Check the location of the company
In addition to the things to check to avoid scams during Black Friday, know that it is always a good idea to check the geographical location of the company you want to make a purchase from.
This is because you may run into difficulties if you purchase products from a company located in a foreign country. Even without fraudulent intent on the part of the seller, a foreign company sometimes escapes the law that protects French consumers.
This is why, in order to limit difficulties in the event of a commercial dispute, it is preferable to privilege made in France and tricolored companies.
4- Beware of phishing attempts
During Black Friday, cybercriminals also increase phishing or phishing attempts. This cyber scam consists of sending messages urging consumers to click on links or attachments in order to steal their personal or banking data.
So, even though November is full of promotions, beware of messages that promise you the deal of the century, especially if they come from unknown or questionable senders.
If you don't know the sender of a message, check the sending address, spelling errors and wording used in the message very carefully. Never click on links or attachments until you are sure of the origin of the message.
In particular, you can verify that a promotion is real by visiting the merchant's official website or contacting their customer service by phone.
Be careful because phishing by email, SMS or phone can have dramatic consequences such as the theft of your personal and banking data or the attack of your device by a virus or ransomware.
5- Beware of delivery and after-sales service scams
During promotional operations such as Black Friday, another type of scam aims to incentivize Internet users to call back premium rate numbers.
If you receive a cryptic message on your voicemail or text message, beware! These fraudulent messages usually ask you to call back a carrier or an after-sales service following a purchase.
But don't do it, it could cost you dearly! When in doubt, look up the real number of the merchant, carrier or after-sales service concerned on their official website.
You can also find out about ongoing scams or report attempted scams by contacting the Info Scams number at 0 805 805 817. This service is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 6:30pm and the call is free from France.