Our team members at Social Catfish hope that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! We wanted to take the time to warn you about some Black Friday scams to watch out for. Many people are staying home and online shopping this Black Friday due to the coronavirus. This means that scammers will have more opportunities to drain your wallets as you go onto online stores this Black Friday week. Here are some Black Friday scams to watch out for.
Black Friday Scams to Watch Out For
Scammers send their victims some phishing emails, pretending to be from their victims’ favorite stores. These emails usually have a link to click on that will direct them to purchase the item they want.
The product usually directs them to a form for victims to fill out all of their personal and information. Once they do so, scammers can drain their bank accounts and commit identity fraud to apply for credit cards under their victims’ names.
Bait and Switch Scams
An expensive item is advertised at a great discount at a particular store, which entices you to go to that store and buy the product. However, once you enter the store, you realize a much cheaper version of the product you wanted in its place.
Scammers take notes of the products that are sold out in actual stores and uses them as bait to create fake websites. Items usually include gaming consoles, such as the Nintendo Switch and the new gaming consoles PS5 and Xbox Series X/S.
These fake websites could look like actual retail stores, such as Best Buy or Amazon. Other times, the websites can look like new stores that have just opened just in time for the holiday season. Either way, all of these stores are fake and are looking to steal your money.
The victim thinks they are purchasing their item of choice, and go to a form to fill out their personal and financial information. The scammer can then use this information to steal your money and commit identity theft.
Wire Transfer and Gift Card Scams
On some fake websites and phishing emails, scammers try and request their customers to give them a wire transfer or gift card as a form of payment. This is because these forms of payments are untrackable, and it is nearly impossible to get your money back once you realize it’s a scam.
Price Gouging Scam
There are people that will buy sold out items at retail stores, such as the PlayStation or Xbox, even though they don’t actually want it for themselves. They will instead list it for sale on their Internet stores, such as eBay, the Facebook Marketplace, or StockX for double the price than it’s actually worth. They then make 200 extra dollars selling sold out items, scamming their customers out of extra money.
How to Avoid Black Friday Scams
- Don’t give out any unnecessary personal information.
- Don’t use wire transfers to pay for your items.
- Only use gift cards if you’re buying the item on the website the gift card is from.
- Don’t give out your credit card information unless it’s on a secure checkout form.
- Be careful when clicking on links via email.
- Make sure the email address is spelled correctly and is actually from the store’s e-mailing list you’re subscribed to.
- If an email address ends in “gmail.com” or “yahoo.com” but it’s from a “major corporation” then it’s probably a fake email address.
- If the discount is too good to be true, it probably is.
- Only buy products from the store websites you trust, avoid any unfamiliar online store.
- Check the URL for any misspellings before shopping.
- Report any Black Friday scam to the FTC.
Social Catfish is Here to Help You With Your Black Friday Scams!
At Social Catfish, we want to help you verify the identities of those who might seem suspicious to you. If you have their name, email address, phone number, social media username, or image, you can reverse search and see who the suspected person was that you’ve been in contact with if you think you’ve been a victim of Black Friday scams.