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Don't get ripped off this Black Friday

People walking on the mall shopping and Australian money. Black Friday shopping.
Scams are expected to rise during the upcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. (Source: Getty)

Aussies are expected to spend $6.2 billion over the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, and scammers are hoping to cash in on the event.

Almost half of the Australian population is planning to shop the sales, according to new research by Revolut. Younger Aussies were the most excited to shop, with 41 per cent of 18-25-year-olds and 46 per cent of 25-34-year-olds planning to partake.

Although most of them were planning to shop online, more than a third (36 per cent) of shoppers said they were worried about their payment information being stolen.

Revolut said fraudsters were getting smarter and shoppers needed to be “hyper vigilant”.

“We expect to see an increase in cyber scams during the upcoming sale frenzy,” Revolut Australia’s head of financial crime, Nelson Yiannakou, said.

“The reason is that consumers are often euphoric about the special deals on offer and may inadvertently and unknowingly click on the scam phishing site or social media ad, rather than the genuine merchant.”

How to spot a shopping scam

Purchase scams are one of the most common. This is when a fake or non-existent item is advertised for sale. If the prices seem too good to be true, this could be a red flag.

“It is always wise to do a Google search of some unfamiliar company name to check if it is a scam or not, as often prior people scammed will post in appropriate forums to warn others,” Yiannakou said.

Purchase scams can often crop up on social media and emails. Scammers can also clone the websites of genuine companies and make small changes to the URL.

“For social media ads, consumers are encouraged to review the comments, as often people scammed previously by the same ad will comment to forewarn others,” Yiannakou said.

For suspicious emails and websites, Yiannakou said to check whether there were any unusual characters or words.

If you are worried about your payment details, you could also consider a ‘single-use’ card, Yiannakou said. These cards regenerate each time you use them, so you can avoid giving your physical card details.

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