Black Friday Scams: Top tips to stay safe when shopping online

Published: 24 November 2022
Published: 24 November 2022

With thousands scouring the web for the best bargains and billions being spent online, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the perfect opportunity for cyber criminals. Black Friday scams can be disastrous for both consumers and retailers. Our IT specialists share their top tips on how online shoppers and businesses can stay cyber-secure.

It’s that time of the year – Black Friday has arrived and Cyber Monday is around the corner.

As businesses and shoppers are preparing themselves for the retail event of the year, so are cyber criminals.

Black Friday scams are on the rise with £15.3 million lost to hoax deals during last year’s festive season. This makes cyber security essential when it comes to e-commerce.

What is Black Friday in the UK?  

Although it originated in the US, Black Friday is an annual retail event that has taken the UK by storm in recent years.

Every year on the Friday after Thanksgiving, businesses throughout the UK (and the world) offer unmissable discounts to their customers for a limited time.

Black Friday has become such a huge event that Cyber Monday has been introduced to provide further online deals for shoppers in the run-up to Christmas.

When is Black Friday 2022?

This year, Black Friday falls on Friday 25th November in the UK, exactly a month before Christmas.

Top tips for online shoppers to avoid Black Friday scams:

Check (and check again!) the website URL

As shoppers frantically compete for the best deals online, a company’s website URL is something that can easily be overlooked.

Scammers are cunning and will often create domains that are extremely similar to the retail websites they intend to impersonate. It may be as simple as an extra letter or adding a hyphen to the website address.

So, slow down and take the time to check the URL.

Be sceptical about Black Friday emails

During Black Friday, your inbox will likely be flooded with emails offering huge discounts for a limited time only. But how can you tell which are legit?

The email address is usually a giveaway. Cyber criminals will typically claim their email is from a certain company, but a closer inspection of the email address will usually reveal if the sender is who they say they are.

Similar to URLs, look out for extra letters or special characters in company names that shouldn’t be there and also mismatched domain addresses. For example, if the email is supposedly from ASOS but the sender’s domain is ‘hotmail.com’ or ‘gmail.com’, the email has come from a malicious source.

If you find the wording in the email to be pushier than expected, this could also be a sign that the sender isn’t the person or company they claim to be.

Research the retailer

The Black Friday sales are a great way for shoppers to discover smaller businesses that they may not have come across before.

Although it is important to support lesser-known companies, it is even more important to ensure that you’re purchasing from a legitimate business.

Trustpilot reviews are a good indicator of the legitimacy of a retailer (the more positive reviews from previous customers the better!).

For peace of mind, research the retailer before you buy from them.

Why is Black Friday important for businesses?

It is often assumed that Black Friday only benefits consumers, but this isn’t entirely true.

While shoppers take advantage of slashed prices, there are numerous ways that taking part in Black Friday benefits retailers too.

These include:

  • Increased sales and more traffic to company website
  • A method of clearing stock before Christmas
  • The chance to acquire brand new customers

Black Friday tips for businesses:

Be on the look out for potential threats

For bigger brands especially, scammers will most likely attempt to impersonate your company, which is not only bad for your customers but can damage your business reputation. Be proactive in looking for potential Black Friday scams.

Fortify your business with strong cyber security

Make sure your cyber security is up to the challenge. For cyber criminals, scamming can be a 365 days a year job. Although opportunists will inevitably be on the prowl this Black Friday weekend. it is vital to ensure that your company’s cyber security defences are strong enough to protect you from potential threats all year round.

Make sure your IT systems are backed up

Double-check that your data and systems are backed up. Should your business fall victim to a cyber-attack, a cloud-backed solution can ensure your files and systems are recoverable.

How Infuse can help

Your company’s cyber security defences will undoubtedly be put to the test this festive period.

Infuse can help to ensure that your cyber security strategy is impenetrable.

Our aim is to offer businesses hassle-free IT support services that transform their cyber security. We offer a range of IT solutions tailored to the needs of your business.

For expert advice and guidance on how to best protect your company online, get in touch with us today. Our team of IT specialists have extensive experience in keeping businesses like yours secure against cyber threats.

Request your free consultation call today

Talk through your IT needs with one of our friendly technicians – no commitment, no cost!

Complete our contact form and one of our experts will be in touch, or call our team on 01332 374444.

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