If you’re one of the thousands of consumers who are planning to take advantage of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, you need to keep a sharp eye out for scammers out to get their hands on your money, Connor Adams reports for the International Business Times.
A hectic shopping atmosphere is just the sort of environment that con-artists thrive in, and they’ve got an array of schemes ready to part shoppers from their life savings. Last year’s favorite scams included fraudulent gift card giveaways, false offers that were nothing more than fronts for computer-hijacking malware, and phony videos and e-cards that packed the same nasty computer virus surprises. Adams reports that scammers targeted shoppers at big-box retailers like Wal-Mart and Best Buy by setting up phishing “coupon” websites in order to get at a computer user’s personal information.
Even trusted search engines like Google need to be watched carefully, as scam artists can “game the system” by manipulating an engine’s site-ranking algorithms to ensure that their phony websites are jumped up to the top of a list of search results. In his article, Adams points out the need for shoppers to be wary of too-good-to-be true offers on hot new items, and that they should should also watch out for deal-peddling websites that suddenly appear at the top of internet searches–this is a tell-tale sign of a scam waiting to happen.
If you’ve got plans to brave the crowds on Black Friday and browse the digital sales on Cyber Monday, take heart: there are many legitimate deals waiting for the dedicated shopper, and there are many good sites that can help shoppers find such deals, for example http://cybermonday2013.io/. With some good judgment and a little healthy skepticism, you can separate the weekend’s great deals from the ones that are just too good to be true, and save a few dollars without giving away the farm.