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Scammers are Targeting Black Friday and Cyber Monday Shoppers

Fraudsters are employing multiple new tricks to lure shoppers into visiting fraud websites.


As Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) approach, hackers are plotting new tricks to spoil the party of shoppers. 

Last year, US shoppers spent USD 10.90 billion on Cyber Monday and another USD 9.03 billion on Black Friday. At the same time, merchants also hope to cash in on any additional traffic that BFCM brings to their ecommerce sites. 

But, while more traffic often brings more opportunities, it also directs to increased rates of online fraud. According to the UK's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), victims of online shopping frauds lost an average of ($1,176) each during the holiday shopping period last year – and the figure is rising. 

Sophisticated Technique 

To understand the patterns of cyber fraud, threat analysts at Bitdefender Antispam Lab have examined the fraudulent activities associated with Black Friday and Cyber Monday. 

During their study of fraud patterns between October 26 and November 9, the analysts detected that rate of unverified Black Friday emails peaked on Nov 9, when reached 26% of all Black Friday-related mail. The fraudsters employed multiple email subjects in an attempt to lure the recipients into visiting the fake websites to receive huge discounts. 

The researchers also identified a widespread online campaign inviting recipients to claim gift cards from popular retailers like Home Depot. In this case, the malicious emails include links to bogus online survey pages that have nothing to do with the retailer’s gift card. 

Once the victims have completed the survey, they were directed to another page where they could choose the ‘prize.’ To receive the prize at their doorstep, recipients were requested to pay for the shipment by providing private and banking details. 

“We scored an iPhone 13, though. The displayed page uses the recipients’ IP address to display a localized version of the scam – in our case Romania. We need to pay 15 RON (roughly 3.06 USD) for shipping and enter our name and address,” one of the recipients of fraud mail stated. “After entering our shipping details, we were prompted to enter our payment information, including cc number and CVV code.” 

Prevention Tips 

  1. Always scan the sender’s email address and look for typos 
  2. Never interact with unsolicited giveaway correspondence 
  3. Always shop on verified websites you already know 
  4. Research properly before providing details to a new vendor 
  5. Avoid accessing links or attachments from unverified sources
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