4 Black Friday Scams to Watch For

Thanksgiving is tomorrow and for years on end now, that means the following day is Black Friday. Offering some of the biggest sales and discounts of the year, Black Friday is a day when every shopper can usually find something they’ve been eyeing to purchase as a gift or purchase for themselves for an incredible price. However, along with some of the great deals unfortunately comes some of the worst scams and while some are pretty simple to spot, others can be tricky. Here are a few of the scams to be cautious about this season before you fall victim:

01: Odd Emails and Texts

Scammers love to gather info about you to use for reasons such as identity theft. One popular way for them to do this is to send you an email or text. All it takes is for you to open it and the scammer now has access to your personal info by tracking. Sometimes the scammer already has some personal information about you and uses that to their advantage. They can claim to be someone you know or state things you like - based on your search history - and try to persuade you that you know them. Make sure you trust the phone number or email address you receive your email or texts from. Your best bet is to never open any that you aren’t expecting or don’t recognize. Delete without opening and move on!

02: Gift That’s Vanished

Another anti-scam policy to live by is if the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Make sure before you get as far as buying something that you know who you’re buying from and if the site or seller is legit. All too often purchases are made from what seem like actual companies then, once you’ve already purchased, you never receive a shipping confirmation, tracking number or receipt and the item purchased never arrives. Be wary of websites that aren’t secure, have misspellings, and trouble loading. Also do your research on the seller to find a physical address and if they’re reputable. Be aware of who you give your credit or debit card info out to as well and always take screenshots of the entire process.

03: Donations for So-called Charities

During this time of year, many people tend to be in a giving mood more than usual. While that’s fine and dandy and can be wonderful, unfortunately scammers are still cruel. Some will even go as far as calling you up, posting on social media or going from door to door asking for money donations to be made to the so-called charity they represent. A good idea is to never impulse give but instead to research the organization the scammer is claiming to be with. Many times you’ll find the organization doesn’t ever ask for donations in the form that is being done by the scammer, or you might be shocked to find out the “organization” doesn’t even exist at all.

04: Getting Your Package Stolen

With online shopping becoming ever so popular more and more each season, it seems it’s also becoming more frequent for packages to get stolen. People also seem to be becoming more brazen - sometimes stealing in broad daylight and despite there being security cameras.  If you’re able to, make sure you’ll be home around the time of your scheduled delivery. If you can't be there, consider the options of changing the delivery address to someone you know and trust that will be at their home after asking them first or perhaps ask a trustworthy neighbor if they can be on the lookout and hold onto it for you after it’s delivered. Some delivery companies now offer other pickup locations too so you can swing by there to get it when it is convenient for you.

Unfortunately there are many more possible scams out there including some that are year-round. Please be careful who you share your personal information with, stay safe and enjoy your shopping!