Watch Out for Holiday Deal Scams
This time of year, there are holiday deals everywhere you look. Between Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the rush to get people to buy gifts before the end of the year, you’ll no doubt encounter many discounts on products across the web. Bad actors know this, too, and may try to use this knowledge to scam you. You don’t want
November 28, 2023
This time of year, there are holiday deals everywhere you look. Between Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the rush to get people to buy gifts before the end of the year, you’ll no doubt encounter many discounts on products across the web.
Bad actors know this, too, and may try to use this knowledge to scam you. You don’t want to put your business interests in jeopardy because of a scam email about a deal day.
If you open your email and check your inbox, or even scroll through your text messages on your phone, you’ll probably find plenty of promotions for holiday deals scattered throughout. While they can pile up and all look the same after a while, be careful when clicking through each: not all may be real.
One trick bad actors try to use is to put the name of a popular sale in the subject line of the message. Your junk mailbox may be full of these already: Perhaps many of these messages start with “CYBER MONDAY,” followed by the “pitch” they want you to read. You may be curious to see what the email is offering for Cyber Monday, only to find the message is actually “warning” your that your Netflix account is about to expire, or that your iCloud account will lose all photos unless you “click this link.”
Some may be slightly more clever, and trick you into thinking there are actual deals to take advantage of. Perhaps “Sam’s Club” has a Cyber Monday promotion wherein you’ve won a $500 gift card, or “Temu” will give you a free gift if you “click here to begin.”
Of course, you receive a million holiday deal emails to begin with, so how can you tell the real ones from the fake? As long as you practice good cybersecurity habits, you’ll be fine: First, anything that sounds too good to be true, is. Sam’s Club isn’t handing out $500 gift cards, even for Cyber Monday. Second, check the sender: If the email supposedly comes from Temu, but the address says “firstname.lastname@example.org,” that’s a scam.
You might even be able to tell from the email itself that something is fishy. The subject line may be filled with spaces, or the language in the message may be riddled with spelling and grammar mistakes. Perhaps images are low-quality, too. Remember: Most legitimate companies have dedicated teams creating engaging emails designed to get you to shop. They’re not going to be sending out deal emails that look this bad.
When in doubt, don’t click. No deal is worth getting scammed over, after all.
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