Black Friday 2023 is Friday, November 24, and is expected to move e-commerce across the country, with discounts and promotions. In the middle of so many temptations, it is important to have good habits, to research a lot, and to keep calm to avoid that super discount that hides a misleading promotion or even scams.
Next, see ten important tips for you to browse the stores and take advantage of Black Friday 2023 promotions with safety, without falling into the traps of criminals, or even into the hands of shopkeepers who do not work professionally.
1. Check if the site is reliable
A very important precaution is to make sure that the website you are accessing is real, and not a copy created to steal personal data, banking, and money. This is because criminals can duplicate the appearance of famous store websites and put them on the air to try to attract inattentive users.
Although they are identical to the original websites, these fake pages cannot reproduce the same address. So please note if the site address is spelled correctly, if there are no missing or out of place letters in the URL, as in “amzon.com”, without the “a”, or “ebaay.com”, with an extra “e”. If you identify something like this, you can be sure that it is a fake website created by criminals.
2. Search the reputation of the store
Sites like urlvoid.com/ and global.sitesafety.trendmicro.com/. Here are important resources to investigate the reputation of the store, the level of quality of service, and also the posture of the company when relating to customers who, by chance, had some problem.
On both sites, you can search the name of the store, read public complaints, and a replica of brands and dealers. Besides, it is possible to analyze the history and general satisfaction level of the community regarding the shopkeeper.
Knowing the reputation and attitude of the shopkeeper allows you to know how you will be attended to in case of problems, and also allows you to recognize recurring cases in the performance of the store, such as problems with exchanges, discounts, or delivery that takes time. If a specific situation proves to be very frequent, it may be interesting to avoid the store.
3. Watch out for promotions via e-mail and social networks
Previously we mentioned the caution with fake websites, which are put on the air copying real stores as a way of deceiving the unmindful consumer. One of the ways criminals lead users to these fake pages is by phishing attacks using email and social networks.
In these scenarios, messages, posts, and emails can contain links to promotions that lead to these fake websites. The tip here is to be careful about the promotions you find on social networks: trust only the official profile of the store or brand and always check carefully if the site you are opening is real.
4. Choose to pay by credit card
In general, choose to use a credit card when paying your expenses on Black Friday. Besides the practicality, the card is safer: you have the means to cancel the expense and you can turn to your operator to avoid losses if there are problems with the store or if you are the victim of a scam.
Payments via bank slip, on the other hand, are not so safe, since a fake website can generate a bill. In this case, you can pay the expense thinking if it is a real purchase and the criminal will receive the money. The worst part is that there is no way to identify it to recover the damage.
Another form of scam would be an insecure website of a legitimate store being the target of the action of invaders, who could intercept your real ticket and exchange it for a fake one. This bill was created so that you give money to the criminal, instead of paying for his real expense. Because of the difficulty in recovering the loss, in the event of a coup, payments by deposits and bank transfers are also contraindicated.
5. Do not use public Wi-Fi networks
Free wireless networks, common in public spaces, are useful for you to access the Internet in case of need for trivial use. However, they should be avoided at all costs when you are dealing with money and your personal data, as is the case with the login and payment process of any product over the Internet.
This kind of Internet network is like a lawless land, where criminals can lie in wait monitoring the traffic of those who access the network. In this process, a hacker can end up intercepting your connection with the store or financial institution, to have access to personal and banking data. When buying on Black Friday, be careful when using your home network, the 4G connection from your cell phone, or your workplace.
6. Beware of promotions with meager prices
Scams with websites and fake promotions, such as the ones we discussed previously, only work since the price is attractive to the consumer. The prices need to be attractive and under the average to the point of activating the temptation and making the user fall for it and not pay attention to the alert signals. To avoid these situations, the tip is to put the prices in perspective. Using price comparison tools, you can evaluate the average values of the product that interests you in the market and judge if the suspicious promotion matches with reality.
7. Check the exchange and return policies of the store
The stores need to be clear about how they proceed in situations where the consumer regrets and wants to exchange or return a product, an obligation that is determined in the E-Commerce Law. Besides, it is always good to remember that you have the right to return any product purchased depending on the store over the Internet in up to 7 calendar days, a week, or within 30 days counted from the delivery.
The way each site presents this information can vary a lot, but its presence and easy access are mandatory. Do not trust stores whose site does not show this information, or even claim they do not accept exchanges and returns, or refunds.
8. Take advantage of credit card company security features
In addition to using the credit card to make your purchases on account of the security inherent to this mode of payment, you can take advantage of some complimentary services that the operators offer. One of them is to use the temporary virtual card, which allows you to generate a random credit card number, to be used once. As soon as you pay the bill with this card, it stops working. This means that it cannot be used again, even if it falls into the hands of a scammer.
Other services and features are also very useful, such as real-time alerts and notifications when your card is used, or when a certain amount of your limit is reached. Thus, you can immediately identify suspicious activities to take agile action, in addition to helping in your financial discipline.
9. Check if the store exists
Another source of headaches is fake store websites, which do not necessarily mimic real stores. In these cases, criminals create an online store with their website, name, and logo. Then, using attractive prices and promotions, they seek to attract users to collect personal data, in addition to obtaining money with slips and bank transfers.
It’s not always easy to identify these types of sites, but there are some indicators: mistrust of pages with a very simple design, old-fashioned, and difficult to navigate. Also, check the number on the website of the IRS to find out if the registration matches the store.
Another tip related to the identification of fake stores is to observe if your browser identifies the site as safe. Check if the address comes with “HTTPS” (and not simply “HTTP”) and if, when clicking the lock, the browser certifies the security of the page.
10. Document the offer and your purchase through screen captures
An important hint in the buying process is to remember to take screenshots during every step of your interaction with a store. This way, you can document the product page – showing the information that was presented to you – and use the images as evidence if there are problems.
The same goes for promotional material that displays an offer or product, as well as its communication with store services. This documentation is fundamental if you need to contest an undue charge or some irregularity in the way a site presents an offer with a value, but then applies another higher price when paying, for example.
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