Black Friday Scams: How to spot and what to do, from LastPass

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We’re seeing a peak retail season like no other. This Black Friday, consumers are going to be savvier than ever to lock in the best deals. This new behaviour is on scammer’s radars, with criminals primed to take advantage.  Scammers typically use doubt, uncertainty and disruption to their advantage, creating a sense of urgency in their targets. These scams lead us to fall victim more easily as we drop our guard and fall foul of them.

“Always approach communications from brands with caution, and if something doesn’t feel right – trust your gut instinct. There are a few observations you can make to determine whether something is legitimate or fraudulent, including:

– Do you recognise the sender? Take a look at their email address – especially the domain. Ensure the domain is from a source you trust, and if it is, double-check that it’s spelt correctly.

– Consider how you’re addressed in the email. A trusted source will likely use technology that contains your contact information, so their email will address you by the name you gave them. Phishers, on the other hand, cluster a large number of email addresses into one outbound email in the hopes of just catching one user, so they typically choose a vague greeting such as “Dear Sir/Madam”.

– Evaluate the call to action. What is the sender asking you to do? Asking you to download a file or click on an unverified link, for example, is a prime opportunity for a hacker to install malware on your device. Remember: if you need to act ” “RIGHT NOW!” to win an offer, chances are it’s too good to be true.

Bottom line: Avoid clicking on or downloading anything that seems even remotely suspicious.”