Cyber Monday ads may not always be what they seem, and consumers shopping online should beware of scams.
In this day and age, where online deals and transactions are commonplace, it’s no surprise that some less scrupulous people use Cyber Monday as a day to scam the public in a variety of ways.
Being that the scammers know what the hot items are, they post fictitious Cyber Monday ads – including fake contests – on social media platforms and send malware emails and text messages. In most cases consumers are asked to share personal information, or download potentially dangerous files.
If you are shopping online this Cyber Monday there are a number of stay safe steps you can take. Always ensure that the site you are visiting is a legitimate website before you submit any credit card details, and make sure your firewall and anti-virus software is up to date and switched on.
Even Sen. Richard Blumenthal spoke about the potential pitfalls of Cyber Monday shopping in a news conference on Friday. The conference highlighted what Senator Blumenthal called “tricks and traps” which are used to target shoppers.
The Senator said that the tricks he was referring to could include very broad and ambiguous Cyber Monday ads and hidden fees and fake coupons sent by email. He also warned of fine print hidden in links to other websites.
It seems that this year scammers are focusing less on email spam and more on social network scams, using Facebook. Chester Wisniewski, an expert from Sophos warned:
“When you see a post on someone’s wall or a tweet from a colleague, treat it the same as an unsolicited email. Don’t click it. Go to the real source and if necessary contact the sender to confirm its veracity.”
Whatever you do with your hard earned money this Cyber Monday, make sure you shop safely and look out for any suspicious Cyber Monday ads or fictitious links.