Ever since Australia and New Zealand jumped on the Black Friday and Cyber Monday bandwagon, it has been a pre-holiday season target for digital scammers.

This year, with interest rates climbing and the cost of living at an all-time high, many Australians are waiting for the sales to stock up on everyday essentials and get an amazing deal on gifts for the holiday and Christmas season. Not to mention a few pressies for yourself!  

With around 7 in 10 shoppers planning to spend on the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, it’s no surprise that scammers have been planning for the sales too! Keeping your business, yourself and your customers cyber-safe on Black Friday and Cyber Monday is important.  

Follow Our Top 5 Tips to Avoid Being Scammed:

1. Avoid Digital Credit Card Skimming

Have an audit of your available payment options;

Do you offer a third-party payment gateway such as PayPal, Apple Pay or Google Wallet?

This offers additional protection to your customers, such as not storing payment details on your own website or server. It can prevent digital skimming, which is where a compromised e-retailer is a victim to malicious skimming of credit card details on their payment software, much like a physical card skimmer on an EFTPOS machine.  

2. Don’t Get Spoofed!

Gearing up for a big sale can be exciting, and in the lead up, you’re likely to spend a lot of time planning your online strategy and editing your website. I

Be wary of online scammers who are very good at pretending to be legitimate online sellers and cyber-criminals can scam you and your customers in a few different ways:  

  • Website Spoofing or Impersonation, also called typosquatting is where the URL and website is remarkably close to the real thing. They rely on typos or mistakes made by the users in the website address. Ensure your marketing is on message across your platforms so your customers know to only use the official website. Consider registering domains similar to your business to prevent customer confusion.
  • Domain Hijacking, where they have stolen your website URL from your domain provider and uploaded an identical website, check the registration of your domain, make sure your domain is up on date and renewed regularly to avoid scammers hijacking your domain.

3. Think Before you Sell Direct on Social Media.

During a high traffic sale such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, retailers often use social media such as Instagram or Facebook to directly market to their followers and fans

Scammers take full advantage of social media marketing campaigns by creating a fake account on Instagram or Facebook, often spoofing retailer websites which impacts both he retailer and their customers.  

The customer spends their hard-earned money on a trick, and you as a business get a hit to your reputation and potentially lose a customer for the long term, even though it wasn’t your doing. Communicating with customers and directing them to your official store and ensuring all your links to social on your site are up to date is imperative to preventing these branding fraudsters.

4. Guard Yourself Against Smishing Attacks  

All of us have been the receiver of an SMS or email saying we’ve missed a delivery or payment or, an order has failed. How does this impact your business?  

Knowing that many of your customers are waiting for parcels, scammers can target your followers using Smishing. Smishing is a scam SMS text message that’s sent to mobile devices pretending to be a legitimate company, hoping that the victim clicks on a link…  and sometimes have real info from a data breach - and send notification SMS and emails pretending to be from you, recommending that they click on a link for redelivery or to complete further payment.

Having complete shipping information on your messaging and staying aware of any scams that might be using your business name are a few steps you can take proactively to prevent smishing complaints and support requests that can tie up your customer service department during the busiest time of the year. Empower your staff to spot a smishing attack with our security awareness training courses here.  

5. Beware of Suspicious Links and Pop-Ups

Your website or network can be a victim of malware installation and as a result, the browser can be infected too and quickly affect anyone on the same network. Suspect browser extensions can be the culprit here, as well as email newsletter phishing attempts.  

Remember, your team isn’t immune from Black Friday and Cyber Monday scams.  We’re all aware of the pop ups on websites showing you the latest deals or coupon codes but beware when they look too good to be true. Ensure your team know all of the current promotions that are running so that they can report any suspicious pop ups or behaviours on your website.

Cyber Security Awareness during Black Friday Scams

Australians have lost almost 6.9 million to online shopping scams this year alone and the year’s not over yet. While individuals and businesses need to be on high alert for Black Friday and Cyber Monday scams, it's important to remember that scammers don’t take holidays and after next week, you need to prepare your defences for the festive season.  

Cyber threats to both businesses and family increase during the holiday season as online shopping, deliveries, and donations reach their peak. Scammers use this opportunity to take advantage of people's generosity and vulnerabilities.

Learn more about the possible scams and protect yourself with our free resource 12 days of Phishmas.  

For more information on how to empower your team with their personalised security awareness training, book a demo with our Phriendly team today!