It's Black Friday for hackers too - so watch out for these scams

Large retail glass window shows the word SALE in capitals
(Image credit: Markus Spiske via Unsplash)

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday just around the corner, and sales already underway, NordLayer has shared some insights about preventing hackers from getting hold of your details.

According to the cybersecurity company, Black Friday spend rose 2.3% year-on-year in 2022, but another Barclays study found that losses relating to these sales rose by as much as 22%.

It is believed that hackers prepare to deploy Black Friday scams months in advance, with search volume for “Black Friday” peaking in April as threat actors look to establish a network of resources.

Black Friday scams to look out for

NordLayer has partitioned Black Friday-related scams into five key areas, spanning all steps of the buying process from research and marketing to purchases.

The most prevalent type of attack, says the company, is phishing. Typically, these scams employ a sense of urgency to pressure victims into parting with confidential and sensitive information. Because of the urgent nature of timed Black Friday sales, victims are less likely to pick up on scams.

Another scam to look out for is the fake website – this is a method designed to impersonate legitimate sites, including taking payment for goods but never delivering. They are more easily identifiable because their web addresses differ from their legitimate counterparts. Check for misspellings, the use of numbers rather than letters, and that the correct domains are being used.

Other methods used by hackers include selling counterfeit and empty gift cards, creating fake order confirmation pages, and using social media. In fact, nine in 10 (88%) of all purchase scams are conducted through social media, according to Barclays.

NordLayer’s head of web engineering and cybersecurity expert Carlos Salas added some context: “Black Friday is a convenient occasion for fraudsters to try to exploit data or money with a higher success rate.”

While the threat remains present year-round, paying even closer attention amid Black Friday sales, whether you’re shopping specifically for promotions or just more generally, can help prevent your data or money from getting into the wrong hands.

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Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!