Black Friday scams surge as the big day approaches


The ConsumerAffairs-Trend Micro Threat Alert finds phishing scams are also increasing

Most major retailers have already begun providing some early Black Friday sales and are teasing future deals. The ConsumerAffairs-Trend Micro Threat Alert warns that scammers, who earlier launched a number of fake shopping sites, have doubled down on their efforts to swindle shoppers.

Between Oct 1 and Nov 9, the Trend Micro Research Team found 66,491 Black Friday shopping-related scam URLs in the U.S. John Clay, vice president of Threat Intelligence at Trend Micro, says that’s a nearly 100% increase in just one week.

“The top five states being targeted the most in 2023 are California, New York, Kansas, Oregon and Texas,” Clay told ConsumerAffairs. “Consumers should be leery of sites that look too good to be true and should initiate going to their trusted shopping sites as much as possible.”

Phishing scams

Two phishing scams are on our radar screen this week. Bad actors impersonating Navy Federal Credit Union are sending out emails, asking recipients to check some notifications via a fake log-in portal so that victims’ account information might be leaked. The Trend Micro research team detected 209 logs on Nov 4.

Scammers pretending to be American Express are asking customers to verify their accounts to avoid having them suspended. However, if the victims input their account and credit card info, both types of data would be transferred to the backstage of bad actors. The Trend Micro research team detected 154 logs on Nov 6. 

Shipping scams

Since we are in the holiday shopping season consumers are stepping up their online orders. That means we should expect to see more shipping-related scams.

Trend Micro reports scammers are impersonating the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) and asking customers to provide delivery addresses and credit card information to process their supposedly postponed parcel at the warehouse.

The top five states being targeted the most in order are Florida, California, Texas, New York and Pennsylvania.

The Australia Post shipping scam is proving to be particularly sticky. Bad actors continue to impersonate Australia Post to ask victims to update their parcel delivery information and credit card information. 

The top five states being targeted the most in order are California, Florida, Texas, Pennsylvania and Illinois.

Dating scam

As we head into the holidays and get closer to Valentine’s Day, you can expect dating scams to increase. In fact, one has already made this week’s Threat Alert.

In this scam, scammers pretend to be attractive women and invite victims via email to join a scam dating website to steal the users' data. The Trend Micro Research team detected 231 logs on Nov 6. 

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