#1: A classic: If it looks too good to be true, it probably is… This one can be hard on Black Friday because there are amazing deals! A 65” 4K at $500 may very well be true, 99% off on your purchase if you go to the “secret” website to make your purchase, probably not real.
#2: Beware of the source: Unfortunately, scammers have gotten much better at making their fake email and fake website look real, gone are the days where you could identify them because they had the wrong colors and the bad grammar, some of the new stuff is dead on. If you get an email with a link that points to a URL shortening service (bit.ly and others) or any URL that looks phishy (pun intended) be very careful.
#3: It’s even harder on mobile where you get bombarded, with emails, text, instant messaging and posts: URL can be harder to decipher, certificates (HTTPS) are harder to see, if you are not sure, take a peak from a bigger screen on your computer. Also take the time to research the offer, sometime a simple google search like “Is the xyz deal fake” can save you a lot of headaches.
#4: Use a dedicated credit card: It is not always practical, but it makes it a lot easier to limit the risk (smaller limit) and to audit the monthly statements when you use a different credit card for your online purchases.
#5: There are also fake apps! Yes, fake email and fake websites were not enough, now you also need to check for fake apps that are trying to lure your personal data away from you.
Happy shopping to all and Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends.