Black Friday and Cyber Monday: real discounts or too good to be true?

There are major shopping events in many countries. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are among them. They will take place on 25 and 28 November 2022 respectively.

This is a unique chance for people to find great discounts and for sellers to make a good turnover, mainly online. However, it is also an opportunity for many companies and individuals to steal money or personal data from people.
 

Fraudulent action statistics in the UK

(Sources : Comparitech and Action Fraud) Anyone can shop on the internet. Indeed, it is convenient for people who do not want to go to the shops. But shopping online can also be risky. Every year, thousands of people fall victim to online scams. For example, the United Kingdom is a case in point. As of November 2020, in the UK there are :
More than 5,000 scam and phishing sites accounted for.
674 average cost of online shopping and auction scams.                
103,254 reported online shopping and auction incidents.

Safe Online shopping

In order to shop online safely, it is important to adopt the right habits, especially if this is the first time you want to buy goods from the company you want.
 

The characteristics of the company

 
The first thing to consider is to take the time to do some research on the company. For example:
Read other customers’ comments about the company.
Check whether the “https” is present in the body of the web address.
Check whether the website displays information about how your personal data is handled.
 

Fraudulent ads and emails

 
Be careful! There are many advertisements on our social networks that should be avoided. That is why you should always examine them before making a purchase as not all of them are reputable. Do not click on suspicious links or attachments in emails or websites. If you have visited a website that you think is trying to scam you, report it. Moreover, a company may ask you to update your password or account information. Before you do this, look up the company’s phone number by yourself and call them to make sure they are trustworthy.
 

Paying online

 
It is important to be careful about who you buy products from. For this reason, you should never transfer money directly to a seller. Also, you should never buy an item with a prepaid gift card. This is because the seller will ask you for your gift card number and a PIN code. In most cases, the seller will steal the funds from your gift card instead of using it for payment. As a result, the item never reaches the correct destination.
 
Use a credit card for online purchases if you have one and check your statement regularly. Choosing a credit card over a debit card also means that if your bank details are stolen, your main account will not be affected.
 
A good habit is to set up email or SMS alerts for every transaction made with your credit card. If you notice a suspicious transaction, contact your credit card company.

Ruben PINA ANDRADE