Black Friday and Cyber Monday can be fun – but they also can put you at risk. Here are five scams to look out for while trying to snag the best deals after Thanksgiving.
Online deals that are actually bogus
Some deals sound insane because they are. And yet, thousands of people fall for these scams every Black Friday. Once the scammers have your credit card information, they’ll use it for their own shopping spree – on your dime.
Be smarter: Don’t believe any advertised price that is ridiculously low. Only shop with reputable companies with verifiable websites. And don’t forget to check online reviews.
Black Friday gift cards for cheap
In the weeks before Black Friday, you might see an explosion of cheap gift cards being sold. These cards are usually stolen from their real owners, who will likely report them lost. The card will be disabled and you’ll have spent your money on a worthless piece of plastic.
Be smarter: Don’t buy any super-cheap gift cards.
Bait and switch
Want to win a brand new smart phone? Just fill out a form with your personal details, and you might be the lucky winner. Your personal details and a site whose authenticity you can’t verify are two things that should never meet. The sweepstakes is just the scammer’s way to get at your information.
Be smarter: Don’t enter any sweepstakes from unknown sources or believe advertisements for heavily marked-down prices from companies you’re unfamiliar with.
If you receive an email claiming there’s been a problem with the delivery of one of your purchases, be wary. You may be asked to click on a link or download an attachment to arrange an alternative delivery date. Ignore these emails; they’re likely to be scams. If you have a problem with the delivery of your purchase, contact the seller or company directly.
Be smarter: Never download anything or click on a link from an unverifiable source.
This Black Friday, use your credit card. It offers you the most protection against purchases that don’t turn out to be what you expected. Plus, TruMark Financial offers the ability to lock/unlock your card via online and mobile, if you notice suspicious activity.
Never agree to an online purchase that demands payment via money order or wire transfer. Once money changes hands this way, it’s nearly impossible to get it back.
Be smarter: When purchasing from unfamiliar companies, use your credit card.