It’s that time. The holidays and shopping deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Here is some helpful information to consider while shopping this weekend.
A new study from RiskIQ—its 2018 Black Friday E-commerce Blacklist states that “This Thanksgiving weekend, threat actors are poised to claim a pretty big slice of the e-commerce pie.” How, you ask? By releasing hundreds of mobile apps that are malicious and designing websites that look like the real brand. They lure customers into downloading these malicious apps and clicking on the landing page of the bad website. When they do, the fraudsters deliver malicious malware to the victim.
To understand the problem, the report states that there are 6,600 blacklisted apps that contain the top five leading online brands, which can dupe customers into thinking the app is the real thing. They will advertise deep discounts and coupons to get customers to click on the link to get the deal, or input credit card information or other personal information that can be used for fraudulent activity. They also frequently use the words “Black Friday” in the malicious apps or websites, so be cautious when you receive alerts, ads or emails from what looks like a major brand that includes the words “Black Friday” somewhere in the banner.
If you are an online shopper, consider these tips during Black Friday and Cyber Monday:
- Shop directly on the brand’s website instead of clicking on a pop-up or other advertisement of a bargain.
- If the deal is too good to be true, it probably is.
- As always, be careful about clicking on links or attachments in email advertisements, and instead go directly to the company website to confirm the deal or coupon and finish the purchase.
- Be particularly vigilant regarding email advertisements that contain embedded links or attachments with coupons as this is an easy way to introduce malware or ransomware into the system.
- Check to see if the website or app has been blacklisted.
- Consider whether you really need to download that app to get the advertised deal.
- Resist storing your credit card information in a website for convenience.
Be particularly vigilant this weekend while shopping as the criminals are being particularly vigilant in targeting online shoppers for their own deals.