Avoiding Cyber Monday Scams While Shopping Online
For many years, Black Friday signifies the start of holiday shopping, and many people usually take the day off work to shop for gifts for their loved ones. However, with the rise of the internet and the increased popularity of online shopping, a new holiday shopping tradition was bound to be born – Cyber Monday.
Cyber Monday is the day after Thanksgiving holiday, where most holiday shoppers continue to do holiday shopping online. The tradition came about in the year 2005, where Ellen Davis, an employee of the National Retail Federation coined the term in a press release while referring to a research study that had revealed online retailers were experiencing increased sales on the Monday after Thanksgiving. As a result, most retailers started offering huge discounts on this day to boost their sales, a tradition that became quickly accepted around the world.
On Cyber Monday, online shoppers scour the internet looking for hot deals that can help them save money on their holiday shopping. Unfortunately, as it is always the case with the internet, some unscrupulous retailers and scammers prey on the unwitting shoppers with false advertisements, email phishing, malicious gift cards, and other tactics that are meant to steal the customers’ money or private information. These customers, seduced by what appears to be great discounts, end up falling into the trap of these scammers, losing their money or personal information in the process.
Avoiding Cyber Monday Scams
Due to these scams that are popular during the holiday seasons, online shoppers should take extra precaution when shopping online. If you intend to buy goods online on Cyber Monday, below is a look at some of the best ways on how to avoid Cyber Monday scams:
1. Only shop on secure websites
Only shop on secure websites (ones that use “HTTPS” instead of just “HTTP”) to ensure that the transaction and any private information you transmit when shopping remains clear. In addition, avoid shopping on websites that are unknown to you and only stick to online retailers who have a good reputation.
2. Avoid using fake shopping apps
Fake shopping apps is a popular tactic used by scammers on Cyber Monday, especially with the increased popularity of mobile shopping. Therefore, avoid using apps that are unknown to you when shopping online, which will help you to reduce the risk of falling for scams.
3. Be careful when opening emails from unknown senders
Email phishing is another scheme used by scammers, where they send fraudulent emails with fake sales and malicious gift cards to online shoppers. Once you open these emails, your PC can be easily compromised, enabling the scammers to steal your private information. Therefore, during this period, avoid opening suspicious emails with offers from unknown senders.
4. Shop using a secure internet connection
One of the best ways of avoiding Cyber Monday scams is to make sure that you shop from using a secure internet connection, where it would be hard for scammers to steal your private information. Therefore, avoid at all costs, the temptation to buy goods online while connected to public Wi-Fi. If possible, also make sure that your phone or PC is equipped with a good antivirus program, which will help to protect your personal information and flag any suspicious emails, apps, and websites.
How do you avoid Cyber Monday scams? Let us know in the comments.
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