Black Friday is almost here, and we all know what that means. It’s time to start planning if you want to make the most of the tempting deals and discounts that will be on offer.
However, while shopping online is convenient, the downside is that you must watch out for scammers as they leave no stone unturned to steal your hard-earned money.
The question here is: how to avoid these tricksters? Fret not, as we’ll be sharing a few useful tips to keep you from delivering your personal information into the wrong hands.
How to spot a Black Friday scam?
When you’re browsing for Black Friday deals, be wary of these red flags because they could be indicative of a scam:
A deal that’s too good to pass up
Scammers have to grab your attention before they can walk away with your money, so they’ll attempt to lure you in with some insanely low prices. Therefore, look out for specials that are excessively cheap in comparison to other discounts. For example, a new iPhone X for just $25 should certainly raise your eyebrows.
Phishing sites and emails that ask for your personal info
The thing with phishing sites and emails is that they’re designed to look legitimate – as if it’s the real deal! So, if you’re signing up for an online account with a retailer or get an email in your inbox supposedly from the bank, and are asked to provide personal information like your social security number, make sure you don’t comply at any cost.
Unsecured sites and extensive typos
When you’re shopping online, look for the green padlock at the left end of the URL bar. It starts with “HTTPS” and indicates the communications between your web browser and the site are encrypted. If the site doesn’t have this, it’s probably not legit. Additionally, if you spot any grammatical errors and typos, it could be a spoofed site.
Suspicious coupons or gift cards
Another gimmick commonly used by scammers are Black Friday coupons or gift cards which offer additional discounts on a particular product or service. Since many unwary shoppers have lost money due to counterfeit gift cards and coupons from sellers, it’s highly recommended that you deal with legitimate sources only.
How to shop safely this Black Friday?
Now that you know how to spot Black Friday scams, here are some ways to shop safely on the post-Thanksgiving shopping day:
Use a VPN
To prevent anyone from eavesdropping on your online transactions, it’s crucial that you use a VPN. It will encrypt your entire connection from end-to-end, protecting your data from being intercepted in the process. That said, did you know that the VPN industry also comes up with amazing deals and discounts on Black Friday?
If you’re looking to buy a reliable VPN for cheap, then PureVPN’s Black Friday VPN deal is our top recommendation. Not only do you get to save money on the top-tier VPN service, but also get access to 2,000+ servers in 141+ countries and premium features like Split Tunneling, Ozone, Internet Kill Switch, and Gravity!
Use credit cards
You should avoid shopping with your debit cards because if a hacker is successful in stealing your card data, they can access funds straight from your bank account. Moreover, credit cards come with better consumer protections.
Use official retailer apps
If you want to use shopping apps, always opt for official apps from retailers. Scammers create fake shopping apps that might look real but end up capturing your credit card information when you make a purchase.
Use two-factor authentication
If your bank supports it, set up two-factor authentication on your credit or debit card. It’s a great way to prevent unauthorized transactions, as you’ll be asked to confirm your identity for every high-value transaction.
And with that, we’ve come to the end of this guide. Keep these things in mind while you go about your shopping on Black Friday, and rest assured that you’ll stay safe from the claws of scammers.
Good luck and happy shopping!