TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — As retailers increasingly turn to technology during the COVID-19 pandemic, cybercriminals are keeping pace with the advancements to target you and the stores you trust.
With Black Friday and Cyber Monday fast approaching, cybercriminals will more than likely be on the prowl, and these schemers have plenty of tricks up their sleeves for evading cyber defenses.
In an interview with 8 On Your Side, Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren identified the most common schemes being reported ahead of the holiday season:
Cybercriminals will secure a domain similar that looks like it belongs to a legitimate business. Unsuspecting customers can be lured in with offers of savings, reward points or gifts. Brands often don’t know their name and likeness has been exploited. Some users can be tricked into giving away their credit card and other personal information.
Internet auction fraud
Internet auction fraud involves fraudulent advertisements online on sites like eBay and Gumtree. Schemers will pretend to sell you and item but the buyer gets nothing like what was promised in the advertisement.
Fake shopping events
Schemers will post fake holiday markets or shopping events online and trick people into buying tickets to steal their personal information.
If there is a virtual event happening, Warren says you should go to the vendor’s website instead of clicking on a link you found in your inbox or on social media.
“Look at the vendor’s history of ratings. Make sure that there are no complaints against them. That they’re using PayPal or other trusted sources for money. You should never be giving out bank account information online,” Warren said.
A good way to prevent these schemes is to do your research. Look at the vendor’s reviews and ratings and visit the company’s website or social media page directly. Do not click on fake links.