It’s important to think before you click on a Black Friday deal, especially when it comes to search engine advertisements. Ad server networks are regularly used by cybercriminals, often to misdirect shoppers to malicious sites where they try to steal your credentials or infect your devices in a drive-by-download attack.
These malvertising attacks are commonplace during peak sales times, FitzGerald warns, and shoppers should play it safe by doing their research and making purchases via official retail websites.
Bargain hunters should also approach shortened links posted on social media with caution. FitzGerald recommends CheckShortURL as a handy way to sneak a peek at shortened website links to check where they actually lead
Fake coupons are another popular trick used by scammers and they can be tough to spot, especially when there’s a sense of urgency such as ‘you only have until the end of the day to validate this rare Black Friday offer’. Fake coupons might arrive unexpectedly in your inbox or you might find them on social media or third-party sites which list online deals