Australian consumers are being urged to keep an eye out for scammers ahead of one of the biggest online shopping events of the year.
Black Friday kicks off on 27 November and consumers are already prepping for the huge sales on offer, with searches trending to be up 80 per cent compared to last year, according to Google trends.
But this doesn’t come without warning.
Almost half of Australians will be increasing their online shopping on Black Friday and throughout the Christmas holiday period due to COVID-19, creating the “perfect storm for cyber-crime”, a report by personal security provider McAfee found.
McAfee’s 2020 Holiday Season: State of Today’s Digital e-Shopper survey found more than two in five Australians say they have been buying more online since the start of the pandemic.
“If there is one thing about 2020 that is not going to change, it’s how busy we get during the holiday season,” McAfee Cyber Safety Ambassador for Australia and New Zealand Alex Merton-McCann said.
“This is when it can all be too easy to fall victim to scammers on the prowl so it is now more important than ever to take the necessary steps to protect yourself and our loved ones this holiday season.”
Warning signs to look out for include products advertised at an unbelievably low price, sound too good to be true, or require up-front payment.
Ms Merton-McCann said with less than two in five Aussies checking to see if Black Friday emails and text messages sent are authentic and trustworthy, protecting your personal and financial information is “as simple as thinking before you click on any links”.