The approach of Black Friday marks hunting season in much of the world. Bargain hunting, that is. In some of the darker, recesses of the world â€“ the corners and caves inhabited by very bad people with very good internet connections – it also marks open season on gullible shoppers.Â
Spammers, scammers and plain old attention-seekers are buzzing the millions of shoppers with the best offers on the internet â€“ bottom dollar prices for cars, $3 a week car insurance, and designer clothing so cheap it could only be made by the slaves of sweat shop workers.
Fig.1 Bogus Ford dumping prices
The offers sound unreal, of course, because they are.
A massive spam wave promoting dumping prices for all Ford cars, old and new, first reached usersâ€™ inboxes in mid-October just as people started looking for Black Friday discounts. For now, fortunately the messages contain a link that transfers the user to a site hosting an annoying online game. Next time, who knows? it may be even a malware laden page.
This yearâ€™s Black Friday offerings range from the eternal online shopping sites that promise huge discounts for childrenâ€™s books, designer clothes, smartphones, or casino coupons, to â€œannouncementsâ€ that President Obama approved a law significantly lowering auto-insurance rates to $3.00 a week. Â Some of these messages look neat and catchy. Others, well â€¦ they wonâ€™t fool many people.
Â Fig.2 Fake car insurance discounts
Bitdefender identified to date a dozen seasonal lures that stand a good chance of convincing users to click links leading them to pages hosting online games, download survey forms, or fill-in purchase forms. The products will never reach anybodyâ€™s threshold, but the form-filling process will give plenty of sensitive personal data to who knows who.
Heralding the start of the Christmas shopping season, Black Friday started as a US custom and ended up promoted and successfully adopted by major retailers and customers around the globe. It comes as no surprise that scammers also include this â€œshopping festivalâ€ in their con calendar and use it as a lure to trick people all over the world to access links, download attachments or order products they would otherwise think twice about.
Just to make sure you didn’t access any of the evil links, scan your PC with Bitdefender QuickScan and in a flash you’ll know if your computer is clean and your data safe!