CLOSINGS: View Closings

Watch out for these Black Friday shopping scams

The holidays are the perfect time for shoppers to hunt for a good deal. It's also a prime opportunity for bad actors to scam consumers.Hundreds of mal...

Posted: Nov 20, 2018 2:25 PM

The holidays are the perfect time for shoppers to hunt for a good deal. It's also a prime opportunity for bad actors to scam consumers.

Hundreds of malicious Black Friday apps and websites will be looking to steal personal data and credit card information this year in the United States and United Kingdom, according to a new report from cybersecurity company RiskIQ.

Cybercriminals create fake mobile apps and landing pages with realistic branding, especially around major holidays and events like Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday. They want to convince consumers to download bad apps or visit bogus sites and ultimately "phish" for sensitive data.

A scam circulating on popular messaging platform WhatsApp ahead of Black Friday promises 99%-off discounts on Amazon.com. On Twitter, Amazon's official help account wrote: "Please don't share your order/account/personal details in such websites."

Consumers are especially vulnerable when shopping on smartphones.

Mobile browsers have a much shorter address field, and consumers may not see the full URL on their phone. This makes it harder to spot a scam.

According to marketing firm Criteo, over 40% of all sales in November and December 2017 were made on mobile phones, and the trend is only expected to grow.

Steve Ginty, senior product manager at RiskIQ, says to check that the website has a valid "HTTPS" connection with a lock symbol, not "HTTP," which is vulnerable to attacks.

Users should also be careful when downloading apps. Bogus holiday deal apps made by scammers can fool users into typing in their credit card information, while other apps feature malware that can steal personal data or lock a smartphone until the user pays a ransom fee.

According to RiskIQ's recent report, 5.5% out of the 4,324 Black Friday-related apps on global app stores are deemed malicious and unsafe, and 4.6% of Cyber Monday apps are malicious. The firm recommends scrutinizing who developed the app, and only downloading apps from official app stores like Apple and Google.

Yair Levy, a cybersecutity and information systems expert at Nova Southeastern University, says to only shop with retailers you trust.

"Don't try to look for offers that are too good to be true. At the end of the day, that's what they are," he said.

Levy also suggests having a credit card dedicated to online shopping. This makes it easier to track purchases and identify fraudulent activity.

Shoppers should be wary of email deals, too. Phishing emails can look similar to those sent by top retailers, and consumers should ignore or delete these emails, no matter how good a deal seems. Cybersecurity company BullGuard says the aim of these fraudsters is to get consumers to click on a link within the email, and enter their personal information.

Some experts anticipate more scam activity this holiday season than last year.

"Every year we see this growing significantly," said Levy. "Why? Because it becomes more successful. Every year more people shop online."

Click to Submit Photo

 

 

Huntsville
Overcast
56° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 56°
Florence
Overcast
57° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 57°
Fayetteville
Overcast
54° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 54°
Decatur
Overcast
56° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 56°
Scottsboro
Overcast
63° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 63°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 155915

Reported Deaths: 2674
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson22988375
Mobile16788315
Tuscaloosa10235140
Montgomery9978197
Madison922894
Shelby727463
Baldwin661569
Lee651765
Marshall437249
Calhoun422461
Etowah421450
Morgan407135
Houston371734
DeKalb336029
Elmore317353
St. Clair289142
Limestone279730
Walker275593
Talladega263635
Cullman239925
Lauderdale218042
Jackson212515
Franklin203231
Autauga203030
Colbert198731
Russell19283
Blount191125
Dallas186327
Chilton185832
Coffee173211
Escambia172230
Covington171429
Dale166551
Chambers134343
Clarke133617
Pike132713
Tallapoosa131387
Marion107129
Barbour10129
Butler100240
Marengo100222
Winston91913
Geneva8617
Lawrence83732
Pickens83618
Bibb82514
Randolph82016
Hale75830
Clay73612
Washington73412
Cherokee73114
Lowndes70428
Monroe64510
Henry6436
Bullock63917
Crenshaw60330
Perry5856
Fayette56913
Wilcox56412
Conecuh56013
Cleburne5518
Macon53020
Lamar4745
Sumter47221
Choctaw39012
Greene34216
Coosa2033
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 241513

Reported Deaths: 3076
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby35564562
Davidson30982333
Knox1239889
Rutherford11502113
Hamilton11497105
Williamson689756
Sumner5900109
Wilson457756
Putnam432955
Montgomery408052
Out of TN390636
Madison371180
Sullivan354046
Bradley351923
Washington332649
Sevier329921
Blount327334
Maury316437
Unassigned28378
Robertson257741
Hamblen242248
Tipton230922
Dyer216329
Gibson212342
Hardeman185433
Coffee183223
Trousdale17587
Obion173021
Greene165451
Bedford165020
Fayette165022
Anderson164614
Dickson163619
McMinn158934
Loudon158811
Cumberland158425
Wayne15847
Lawrence155618
Jefferson152920
Weakley151125
Carter149532
Monroe141928
Warren141510
Lauderdale140417
Henderson139825
Hardin137519
Macon130725
Franklin126317
Roane12577
Haywood125327
Overton118416
Hawkins117024
White115014
Johnson11277
Carroll112525
McNairy111127
Marshall11089
Rhea108317
Cheatham103111
Cocke101412
Bledsoe10104
Lake9803
Smith97613
Campbell9759
Giles93735
Fentress88910
Lincoln8523
Crockett82920
Henry77110
Hickman76715
Marion7419
Chester72114
DeKalb71117
Decatur64811
Grainger5664
Grundy54511
Union5233
Claiborne5146
Polk49213
Jackson4465
Humphreys4344
Morgan4317
Benton4119
Cannon4042
Houston40417
Unicoi3953
Clay39413
Lewis3752
Scott3625
Sequatchie3384
Stewart3179
Meigs3066
Perry2772
Pickett2627
Moore2592
Van Buren2011
Hancock1153

Community Events