Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) November 06, 2013
Scambook, the Internet’s leading online complaint resolution, is warning consumers about this holiday season’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday scams leading up to Thanksgiving Weekend. Whether consumers are shopping online or in stores, scammers are getting ready to exploit the holiday shopping season as consumers hunt for the best deals.
“With Black Friday and Cyber Monday fast approaching, consumers may experience what we call 'holiday shopping tunnel vision' and get too caught up in the shopping hype to question whether a deal is too good to be true,” says Kase Chong, Scambook's Director of Marketing. “It can be overwhelming, which scammers take advantage of.”
To prevent consumers from falling victim to holiday scams and fraud, Scambook would like to remind the public about some of the top holiday scams from last season. These scams are expected to return in the same form, or with slight variations.
1. Free $1000 Best Buy Gift Card Text Message Scam: Last year, scammers texted consumers offering a $1,000 Best Buy gift card when they entered a code, delivered through text, on BestBuyContest.com and BestBuyWin.net. This year's scam text messages may reference Best Buy again or refer to a different retailer such as Target or Walmart.
2. Fake Leaked Black Friday Ads for Popular Retailers: Scammers exploit the trust built between corporate brands such as Walmart, Target or Best Buy and consumers to leak ads offering downloadable coupons – however, these ads are actually a phishing scheme, designed to steal personal information or install malware on consumers’ computers.
3. False Videos and eCards CarryingViruses: Phishing emails sent from a spambot account on Twitter, or through other social media platforms, is a popular scheme during the holidays when friends and family may share a seasonal video clip or an eCard. The video clips and eCards may contain viruses or other malware designed to infect the recipients' computer or even steal information for use in identity theft.
To combat these Black Friday, Cyber Monday and other holiday shopping scams, Scambook recommends the following tips to help consumers protect themselves:
1. Shop with a Prepaid Debit Card: Prepaid credit cards offer the same anti-fraud protection as regular credit cards such that consumers are protected from unauthorized activity and liability to fraudulent charges is limited. Prepaid debit cards also keep users on budget with a limited amount available to spend.
2. Stick to Trusted Sites: If shopping online, consumers should stick to reputable, trustworthy sites such as Amazon or Woot, the websites of brick-and-mortar retailers like Target or Best Buy. Many “hot holiday deal” websites pop up during the holiday season and may actually be traps that disappear as fast as they appeared. Scambook recommends searching for customer reviews on Google and checking Scambook.com for complaints about the site before placing any order.
3. Beware of Too-Good-to-Be-True Deals: Deals that are too-good-to-be-true are a huge red flag, even on big shopping days like Black Friday. Electronics, designer clothes, and toys are common goods that are sold at a fraction of the retail price and are likely a scam. Mysterious links to deals that appear through email are also likely a phishing scam and may install viruses or malware on computers.
4. Use a Different Password: Cyber Monday is one of the most important days to diversify your passwords. When asked to create an account to purchase from an online retailer, use a password unique from all other passwords. Online retailers are routinely hacked and their databases comprised. This information could then be used to access users’ other email and bank accounts.
5. Use a Secure Internet Browser: For those consumers shopping online, Scambook advises using secure browsers such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. Users should make sure this is the most up-to-date version along with their computer’s firewall and anti-virus software. AVG or Avira are free anti-virus software proven to protect.
6. Never Open Email Attachments: Consumers are warned to never open links to outside websites or videos from unknown sources, as well as any emails that require personal information. Even if emails claim to be from sites such as eBay or PayPal, consumers shouldn’t respond if prompted to give their password, financial account information, or credit card number via email.
Scambook is an online complaint resolution platform dedicated to obtaining justice for victims of fraud with unprecedented speed and accuracy. By building communities and providing resources on the latest scams, Scambook arms consumers with the up-to-date information they need to stay on top of emerging schemes. Since its inception, Scambook has resolved over $18 million in reported consumer damages. For more information, visit scambook.com.