BLACK FRIDAY: Scammers lying in wait!

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Business owners and consumers are urged to be cautious as Black Friday approaches.          Photo from iStock
Business owners and consumers are urged to be cautious as Black Friday approaches. Photo from iStock

BLACK Friday and Cyber Monday are around the corner with enticing sales on offer at various retail stores.

The extravaganza sale is known to draw one of the biggest shopping crowds, where the best deals and discounts are available.

This year’s Black Friday will be on 25 November and fraudsters are ready to pounce on victims.

According to Carey van Vlaanderen, CEO of ESET Southern Africa, a cybersecurity company, scores of consumers in Mzansi will be using e-commerce websites to check out their favourite deals.

She told Business Tech that consumers have to proceed with caution as fraudsters trick them into giving away their money.

Van Vlaanderen urged the public to be on the lookout for these popular scams during Black Friday:

  • Phishing emails

Fraudsters tend to send malicious emails designed to trick people into falling for a scam.

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In this case, false emails from bogus retailers will be sent detailing upcoming specials, order confirmations, and delivery information.

  • WhatsApp chain vouchers and competitions

The public is also urged to be aware of forwarded fong kong vouchers which are often sent in the form of links on WhatsApp.

Van Vlaanderen said there is also a new trend where incredible competitions are sent to people convincing them to click on the links and share their personal information.

  • Facebook Market scams

Gauteng police recently warned the public of the Facebook Market scam where people are robbed and hijacked of their belongings. This scam extends to fake listings and stolen items on the app.

Small businesses are also urged to avoid doing transactions while connected to public Wi-Fi during Black Friday.

According to Thomas Vollrath, head of local web hosting company 1-grid, public Wi-Fi networks are encryption-free, making them more susceptible to online attacks.

“A cybersecurity attack can put business data, including sensitive customer information, at high risk, particularly when people are making more online transactions to take advantage of good deals,” Vollrath said.

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