IF you’re looking for a bargain this Black Friday be sure to avoid being scammed.
Hackers are all too aware of the interest as people try to save money before Christmas.
So here are some cyber-related tips from experts at ESET to avoid being ripped off.
Fake gift cards
Fake gift card scams have been going around for years and sadly they’re still a blight on all our inboxes.
If you get one, don’t be fooled – nothing is for free after all.
Clicking them risks malware being installed on your smartphone.
Scammers use big events like Black Friday as an opportunity to send out fake order updates.
More often than not these are text messages telling you you’ve missed your delivery and need to pay to re-arrange it.
Fraudsters take a chance on various names like Royal Mail or DPD, knowing some people will have used them and are expecting something.
This can make you think it must be real, when it’s not.
If you’re worried about a delivery, best to go through the official website which you’ve typed yourself (not via links in the text) or calling the company (again, not calling any numbers mentioned in the text message).
Things like bad spelling and grammar should also be a red flag, as scammers tend to do this quite a bit.
Use legitimate websites
It can be hard to determine whether a retailer is trustworthy or not.
While there are plenty of reputable big name sites, there will be smaller retailers involved in Black Friday too.
Be sure to look out for any weird spelling errors on their website, this can be a sign of scammers at work.
And search for the site on Google to see if there are reviews on the company.
Watch out for links sent by friends
If you get a message out of the blue from a friend with a link, think twice.
They may well have been hacked and the scammer is using their account to recommend dodgy sites.
Avoid public Wi-Fi
When shopping out and about, it’s good to do your research on an item to see if it’s available somewhere else cheaper.
If you need to use public Wi-Fi make sure you don’t make any purchases or access your online banking.
You have no idea how secure that network is – and a hacker may well have infiltrated it.
Some hackers also create Wi-Fi networks with familiar names so you connect to them and give out precious data.
If you must use a public Wi-Fi network, a VPN can help minimise the risk.
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