This Black Friday scam is preying on PS5 hunters

(Image credit: Shutterstock / Brazhyk)

Scammers have already started luring Black Friday (opens in new tab) shoppers with scams involving gaming consoles (opens in new tab) such as PlayStation 5 (opens in new tab), and fake Amazon gift card generators that steal cryptocurrency (opens in new tab).

Still a few weeks away, Black Friday is one the biggest shopping bonanzas, and as per Adobe Analytics (opens in new tab) saw sales of $9.03 billion last year, with 2021 expected to top that figure.

Given its popularity, Black Friday is also one of the favorite targets exploited by scammers to trick consumers.

TechRadar needs yo...

We're looking at how our readers use VPNs with streaming sites like Netflix so we can improve our content and offer better advice. This survey won't take more than 60 seconds of your time, and we'd hugely appreciate if you'd share your experiences with us.

>> Click here to start the survey in a new window (opens in new tab) <<

“While online shopping towards Black Friday is fun and exciting, it also provides cyber criminals with ample opportunities to exploit and monetize a victim’s giving spirit and greed,” note cybersecurity (opens in new tab) sleuths at Fortinet (opens in new tab) while sharing a couple of scams that have already cropped up on their radar.

Too good to be true

Fortinet recently discovered a malicious executable, which they believe is pitched as a free Amazon gift card generator. 

The file however placed a clipboard monitoring malware (opens in new tab) that keeps its eyes peeled for bitcoin wallet (opens in new tab) addresses that the victim has copied into the clipboard. It then replaces the wallet’s address with its own, hoping that the victim will not notice the altered wallet address when the victim pastes it during the transaction.

“Free generator of this sort has been around and scammed people for years. But given the market power of Amazon, this new scam is especially enticing,” note the researchers.

The other scam plays on the chip shortage induced difficulty in procuring new gaming consoles such as the PlayStation 5 (opens in new tab) and Xbox Series S (opens in new tab) and X consoles.

While the researchers couldn’t analyze the website for the scam, they share that scams such as these usually trick the user into visiting a cleverly disguised phishing (opens in new tab) page that gets them to share confidential information such as their credentials for online shopping sites, credit card numbers, home address, and more.

“Although these scams are not new, users should pay extra attention to the potential scams ahead of the Black Friday shopping spree…. If a discount or availability of a hard to find item seem too good to be true, think twice before making a purchase,” the researchers conclude.

Shield yourself from such scams with these best identity theft protection services (opens in new tab)

Mayank Sharma

With almost two decades of writing and reporting on Linux, Mayank Sharma would like everyone to think he’s TechRadar Pro’s expert on the topic. Of course, he’s just as interested in other computing topics, particularly cybersecurity, cloud, containers, and coding.