Cyber Monday Hero

What Are Some Common Scams To Watch Out For On Cyber Monday 2023?

October 8, 2023 | by Thomas Low


Cyber Monday 2023 is just around the corner, and as you gear up for a day filled with online shopping deals, it’s crucial to stay vigilant and be aware of the common scams that could potentially ruin your shopping spree. From deceptive phishing emails offering unbelievable discounts to fake websites trying to steal your personal information, there are plenty of scams waiting to catch unsuspecting shoppers off guard. In this article, we’ll explore some of the common scams to watch out for on Cyber Monday 2023, equipping you with the knowledge to navigate this digital shopping extravaganza safely and securely. So, grab your favorite beverage, sit back, and let’s dive into the world of Cyber Monday scams!

1. Phishing Scams

1.1 Email Phishing

One common scam to watch out for on Cyber Monday 2023 is email phishing. Phishing occurs when scammers send fraudulent emails that appear to be from a legitimate source, such as a trusted retailer or financial institution. These emails often ask you to click on a link or provide personal information, such as your credit card details or login credentials. Remember to always be cautious when clicking on links in emails and double-check the email address to ensure it is legitimate.

1.2 Text Message Phishing

Another type of phishing scam you should be aware of is text message phishing, also known as smishing. Scammers use text messages to lure unsuspecting individuals into providing sensitive information or clicking on malicious links. These messages may claim that you have won a prize or offer exclusive deals, tempting you to respond or click on the provided link. Always be cautious of unsolicited text messages and avoid providing personal information or clicking on suspicious links.

1.3 Website Spoofing

Website spoofing is a scam where fraudsters create fake websites that imitate legitimate online retailers or financial institutions. These websites are designed to trick users into providing personal information or making purchases. They may have a similar layout, logo, and overall appearance to the genuine website, making it difficult to distinguish between the two. Protect yourself by carefully reviewing the web address, looking for misspellings or variations, and ensuring the website has a secure connection (https://).

2. Fake Websites

2.1 Replica Websites

Replica websites are a common scam to watch out for on Cyber Monday 2023. These sites imitate popular brands and sell counterfeit products at lower prices to lure unsuspecting shoppers. While the prices may seem tempting, purchasing from replica websites can lead to receiving poor-quality or fake items, or even becoming a victim of credit card fraud. To avoid falling for these scams, always do thorough research on the website and read customer reviews before making a purchase. Additionally, be cautious of websites that only accept payments through non-traceable methods such as cryptocurrency.

2.2 Redirected Websites

Another scam involving fake websites is when scammers redirect users to illegitimate sites. This can occur through malicious advertisements, email links, or compromised legitimate websites. The purpose of redirected websites is often to trick users into providing personal information or making purchases. To protect yourself, be wary of unexpected redirects and always double-check the URL in the address bar to ensure you are on the correct website. Utilizing antivirus software that includes web protection can also help prevent accessing malicious websites.

What Are Some Common Scams To Watch Out For On Cyber Monday 2023?

3. Malicious Advertisements

3.1 Malvertising

Malvertising refers to the practice of spreading malware through online advertisements. Scammers create ads that contain malicious code, which can infect your device if clicked on or interacted with. These ads can appear on legitimate websites, making them harder to identify as malicious. To avoid falling victim to malvertising, use an ad blocker, keep your web browser and antivirus software up to date, and exercise caution when interacting with ads, especially those that seem too good to be true.

3.2 Ad Overlays

Ad overlays are another form of malicious advertisements that can be encountered on Cyber Monday 2023. These pop-up or overlay ads can appear on top of a legitimate website, often obscuring content or attempting to deceive users into clicking on them. Some ad overlays may lead to phishing websites or install malware on your device. Be cautious when encountering ad overlays and avoid interacting with them. Close the overlay by clicking the “X” button or use an ad blocker to prevent these ads from appearing.

3.3 Pop-up Ads

Related to ad overlays, pop-up ads are another common scam to watch out for. These ads appear in separate windows or tabs, often when visiting certain websites or clicking on links. While some pop-up ads may be legitimate, others can be malicious and attempt to deceive users into providing personal information or downloading malware. It is recommended to use a pop-up blocker and exercise caution when encountering pop-up ads. Always close pop-ups using the provided buttons instead of clicking within the ad itself.

4. Fake Gift Cards and Coupons

4.1 Gift Card Scams

Gift card scams are prevalent during Cyber Monday, as scammers attempt to take advantage of the holiday shopping season. These scams involve selling fake or stolen gift cards through online platforms or social media channels. The scammers may advertise heavily discounted gift cards for popular retailers, enticing shoppers with enticing savings. However, purchasing these fraudulent gift cards can lead to receiving worthless or non-active cards. To protect yourself, only purchase gift cards from reputable sources and verify the legitimacy of the seller before making a purchase.

4.2 Coupon Scams

Similar to gift card scams, coupon scams aim to deceive shoppers with enticing discounts and savings. Scammers may create fake coupons or offer exclusive deals that seem too good to pass up. These coupons can be shared through email, social media, or websites. When encountering coupons, be cautious of any that require you to provide personal information or payment details. Stick to using coupons directly from the official websites or trusted sources to ensure their authenticity.

4.3 Social Media Giveaways

Social media giveaways can also be a breeding ground for scams, especially during Cyber Monday. Scammers may create fake profiles or posts that promise giveaways or freebies to followers or participants. These scams often require individuals to provide personal information or share the post to enter. Be skeptical of such giveaways and verify the legitimacy of the social media account or post before participating. Official brand accounts usually have verified badges, a substantial number of followers, and a history of genuine interactions.

What Are Some Common Scams To Watch Out For On Cyber Monday 2023?

5. Impersonation Scams

5.1 Tech Support Scams

Tech support scams involve scammers impersonating reputable tech companies or service providers. They often use phone calls or pop-up messages to convince users that their device has been infected with malware or has a technical issue. The scammers then offer to provide support or fix the problem for a fee or by gaining access to your device remotely. Remember that legitimate tech companies do not typically proactively contact users for technical support. If you encounter such a scam, hang up or close the pop-up message and contact the legitimate company directly to verify any claims.

5.2 Delivery Scams

Delivery scams are especially prevalent during the holiday season when online shopping and shipping volumes increase. Scammers may send fraudulent emails or text messages posing as delivery companies, claiming that there is an issue with your package or requesting additional payment for delivery. These scams aim to trick individuals into revealing personal information or making unauthorized payments. To avoid falling for these scams, track your packages directly through the official delivery company’s website or app and be cautious of unexpected messages regarding your deliveries.

5.3 Retailer Impersonation

Retailer impersonation scams occur when scammers create fake websites or use fake social media accounts to impersonate reputable retailers. These scams often aim to collect payment information or personal data from unsuspecting shoppers. When shopping online, verify the authenticity of the retailer’s website or social media account before making a purchase. Look for official verification badges, customer reviews, and contact information. It is always safer to make purchases directly through the retailer’s official website instead of third-party platforms.

6. Account Takeover

6.1 Password Theft

Password theft is a common method used for account takeovers. Scammers may use various techniques, such as phishing emails or fake login pages, to trick individuals into revealing their passwords. Once the scammers have access to your password, they can gain unauthorized access to your accounts, potentially leading to identity theft or financial loss. To protect yourself, use strong and unique passwords for each of your accounts, enable two-factor authentication when available, and be cautious of any suspicious emails or websites requesting your login credentials.

6.2 Phishing Attacks

Phishing attacks are another way scammers attempt to take over your accounts. These attacks involve sending fraudulent emails or messages that appear to be from a trusted source, such as a bank or social media platform. The messages often request personal information, such as passwords, account numbers, or social security numbers. To avoid falling victim to phishing attacks, be skeptical of unsolicited messages, double-check the sender’s email address or phone number, and avoid clicking on suspicious links. If in doubt, contact the legitimate organization directly to verify the message’s authenticity.

6.3 Social Engineering

Social engineering is a technique used by scammers to manipulate individuals into revealing sensitive information or performing certain actions. They often rely on psychological tactics to deceive and manipulate their victims. These could be through posing as a trusted individual over the phone, creating a sense of urgency or fear, or exploiting personal relationships. To protect yourself from social engineering scams, be cautious of unsolicited requests for personal information, verify the identity of individuals before sharing sensitive information, and never feel pressured into making immediate decisions.

What Are Some Common Scams To Watch Out For On Cyber Monday 2023?

7. Counterfeit Products

7.1 Knockoff Electronics

Counterfeit or knockoff electronics are a significant concern during Cyber Monday, with scammers attempting to exploit the demand for discounted electronics. These counterfeit products are designed to resemble popular brands and may be sold at heavily discounted prices. However, they often lack the quality, performance, and safety standards of genuine products. To avoid falling victim to counterfeit electronics, purchase from trusted retailers or official brand websites, research the product and its typical price range, and be wary of deals that seem too good to be true.

7.2 Designer Replicas

Similar to knockoff electronics, designer replicas are counterfeit products that imitate luxury brands. Scammers often offer these replicas at significantly lower prices, appealing to those seeking luxury items at a fraction of the cost. However, purchasing designer replicas not only supports illegal activities but also exposes you to poor-quality products. To protect yourself, always purchase designer items from authorized retailers or directly from the official brand’s website. Familiarize yourself with the genuine product’s details, such as logo placement, materials used, and packaging, to spot counterfeit items more easily.

7.3 Health and Beauty Scams

During Cyber Monday, be cautious of health and beauty scams that promote counterfeit or ineffective products. Scammers may advertise miracle elixirs, anti-aging creams, or weight loss supplements that promise extraordinary results. These products often lack scientific evidence, contain harmful ingredients, or are simply ineffective. To safeguard your health and avoid scams, research the product and its ingredients, read customer reviews, and consult with medical professionals before trying any health or beauty products. Purchase such items from reputable retailers or official brand websites to ensure product authenticity.

8. Charity Scams

8.1 Fake Charities

Charity scams prey on the goodwill of individuals during the holiday season. Scammers may create fake charities that claim to support noble causes, often through compelling stories or emotional appeals. They may ask for donations through websites, email campaigns, or even door-to-door solicitation. To ensure your donations reach legitimate organizations, research the charity’s reputation, verify their registration and non-profit status, and review financial information. It is best to donate directly to well-established and reputable charities to ensure your contributions go where they are genuinely needed.

8.2 Donation Fraud

Donation fraud occurs when scammers exploit legitimate charitable organizations by creating fake fundraising campaigns. These scams often occur online and falsely claim to collect donations for disaster relief, medical treatments, or other urgent causes. To avoid falling victim to donation fraud, be cautious of unsolicited donation requests, verify the legitimacy of the campaign by contacting the organization directly, and research the campaign’s reviews or news coverage. Donate directly through the official website of the charity or trusted platforms to ensure your contributions go to the intended cause.

What Are Some Common Scams To Watch Out For On Cyber Monday 2023?

9. Data Breaches

9.1 Online Retailer Breaches

Data breaches are a significant concern when shopping online, especially during Cyber Monday. Online retailers may become targets for hackers seeking to gain access to customers’ personal information and payment details. These breaches can lead to identity theft, financial fraud, or unauthorized account access. To protect yourself, shop only from reputable retailers with a proven track record of secure data handling. Verify that the website has a secure connection (https://) and consider using payment methods that offer additional security, such as virtual credit cards or PayPal.

9.2 Payment Processor Breaches

Payment processors play a crucial role in online transactions, making them an attractive target for hackers. Breaches in payment processors can result in the theft of customer payment information, including credit card details, leading to financial loss or unauthorized transactions. Protect yourself by using secure payment methods such as trusted credit cards or online payment platforms. Regularly monitor your payment account activities and report any suspicious transactions immediately to your financial institution.

9.3 Phishing-Induced Breaches

Phishing scams can also lead to data breaches, particularly if individuals fall victim to providing their personal information or login credentials on fraudulent websites or through phishing emails. Scammers can use this information to gain unauthorized access to your accounts, including online shopping accounts. To avoid such breaches, always be cautious of providing personal information online and double-check the authenticity of websites or emails before submitting any sensitive information. Enable two-factor authentication whenever possible to add an extra layer of security to your accounts.

10. Unsecured Wi-Fi Networks

10.1 Man-in-the-Middle Attacks

When using unsecured public Wi-Fi networks, you are at risk of falling victim to man-in-the-middle attacks. These attacks involve a scammer intercepting the communication between your device and the network, allowing them to access your sensitive information, such as login credentials, payment details, or personal data. To protect yourself on public Wi-Fi networks, avoid accessing or transmitting sensitive information when connected to unsecured networks. Instead, use a virtual private network (VPN) to encrypt your internet connection and ensure your data remains secure.

10.2 Rogue Wi-Fi Networks

Rogue Wi-Fi networks are illegitimate networks set up by scammers to deceive users into connecting. These networks may have names that resemble legitimate networks, such as those of coffee shops or airports. Once connected, scammers can monitor your online activities and potentially access your personal information. To mitigate the risk of connecting to rogue Wi-Fi networks, always verify the name of the network with the establishment or use your mobile data connection instead. Disable automatic Wi-Fi connections on your device to avoid inadvertently connecting to unauthorized networks.

In conclusion, Cyber Monday 2023 is a day of great deals and online shopping excitement, but it is crucial to remain vigilant against various scams and fraudulent activities. By familiarizing yourself with the common scams outlined in this article, you can better protect yourself against cyber threats. Remember to always use secure and trusted websites, shop from reputable retailers, and never share personal or financial information unless you are confident in the recipient’s legitimacy. Stay safe, wise shoppers, and enjoy the online shopping experience while staying protected from scams!

What Are Some Common Scams To Watch Out For On Cyber Monday 2023?


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