Beware fake online stores that will steal your money on Black Friday

The South African Banking and Risk Information Centre (SABRIC) has urged consumers to be on the lookout for Black Friday scams in the coming weeks.

Speaking to MyBroadband, SABRIC CEO Nischal Mewalall said there were two types of prevalent financial scams the organisation had observed in recent months.

Mewalall cautioned shoppers to watch out for spoof sites advertising Black Friday deals and purporting to be legitimate online stores.

“Criminals only need to change one digit of a web address to create a spoof website and steal your personal information,” he warned.

A theoretical example of a spoof site would be if someone were to change “takealot.com” to “takelot.com” and then replicate the former’s design and functionality.

While the regular online shopper would likely pick up on the differences, unseasoned bargain hunters may not.

Mewalall said although the compromise of personal information can create opportunities for criminals to impersonate a victim, it does not guarantee access to their banking profile or accounts.

“However, criminals can use this information to trick you into disclosing your confidential banking details,” he added.

He strongly recommended that phone calls, SMSs, and emails requesting confidential and personal information be ignored.

“Banks will never ask you to confirm your confidential information over the phone,” Mewalall said.

Additionally, consumers should not click on unknown links in Black Friday-related emails or open email attachments from unknown sources.

Use reputable retailers

Mewalall further advised consumers to only shop at reputable retailers and avoid unknown ones, even if the offers seem amazing.

“Be wary of unfamiliar e-commerce sites, especially if they do not redirect you to confirm your transaction via your banks 3D secure page or via your own banks mobile app before you pay,” he stated.

Furthermore, when using a reputable site, he also recommended that you do not store your payment details – such as the information on a bank card.

This would prevent criminals from getting your card details, in case your login details were compromised.

Known online tech stores

Below is a list of known popular tech e-commerce sites in South Africa, many of which will likely be offering Black Friday deals.

Now read: The ultimate wishlist for Black Friday 2020 in South Africa

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Beware fake online stores that will steal your money on Black Friday