CYBER Monday scams are a threat to Americans as the FBI has warned that hackers are targeting shoppers with "One-Day Only'" store promotions.
FBI Little Rock warned in a November 18 press release that Arkansans should be aware of scammers this holiday season.
Although the message is intended for residents of the Bear State – the warning applies to anyone across the US who plans to shop online during the holiday season.
The FBI notice states: "Shoppers hunting for a good deal should be on the lookout for increasingly aggressive and innovative scams designed by criminals to steal money and personal information.
"According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), Arkansans lost over $16,140,000 just in 2020 from to a variety of criminal scams.
"This year, FBI Little Rock wants shoppers statewide to enjoy a scam-free holiday season by remaining vigilant against the following schemes."
Shoppers who are planning to make purchases from their computers or mobile devices are being warned to watch out for too-good-to-be-true deals.
The FBI is warning that scammers usually attack "Black Friday and Cyber Monday bargain hunters" by using "One-Day Only" promotions from well-known brands.
Shoppers should avoid websites with "unrealistic discounts on brand-name merchandise," the agency adds.
The FBI suggests researching businesses and reading over customer reviews to get a better understanding of if the company you're about to purchase from is legitimate.
"If little to no information about a vendor exists, shop elsewhere," the FBI states in the press release.
PAYMENT RED FLAGS
People shopping during the holiday season should also be wary of sellers and websites that demand payment only through gift cards.
"Scammers sometimes encourage shoppers to conduct wire transfers, which allow criminals to quickly receive illicit funds," the agency warns.
"Using a credit card provides layers of security against fraud and is typically the safest way to conduct online shopping throughout the holidays."
MORE TIPS ON AVOIDING HOLIDAY FROM SCHEMES
For additional safety, the FBI suggests people secure all financial accounts with strong passwords.
It is also advised that shoppers have different passwords for each financial account.
Bank and credit card statements should also be routinely checked, and personal information like Social Security numbers or date of birth should never be given out to people you're not familiar with.
Meanwhile, shoppers are being warned ahead of Black Friday to look out for potential scammers masking behind fake emails to steal their information.
Individuals who choose to shop this holiday season have been advised to take all necessary precautions when purchasing online to avoid phishing schemes.
AMAZON HACK ATTEMPT
In a recent attempt to take advantage of holiday shoppers, a cybercriminal(s) attempted to impersonate Amazon, a popular shopping site, using a phony email, TechRepublic reported.
The hacker sent out emails, written in Japanese, and claimed to be from "Amazon. Urgent notice."
The subject line, however, was written in English and stated "System Notification: Unfortunately, we were unable to renew your Amazon account."
PHISHING EMAILS & TEXTS
Through emails and texts linking to non-legitimate websites, hackers will attempt to obtain personal information like credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, or account passwords, according to CNET
Phony websites trick shoppers into believing that they are being contacted by a company, ultimately leading them to provide their card information.
Shoppers may be fooled by emails showing an incorrect order, so it's important to look out for attacks like this that will likely appear to come from big retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, Target, and Walmart.
It has also been warned that scammers are using the attraction of a gift card generator to try and steal cryptocurrency from their unsuspecting victims.
Black Friday, which occurs on the Friday after Thanksgiving each year, will take place on November 26, 2021, so online shoppers still have some time to learn about scams to avoid.
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