UP cyber cell cautions against Black Friday deals in virtual world
IANS 24 November 2023
The Black Friday mood is catching on in India and the Uttar Pradesh Police's cyber cell has asked online shoppers to exercise caution and remain vigilant against a surge in cyber scams, targetting discount hunters.
Black Friday, traditionally marked as the day after Thanksgiving, is widely recognised as the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season for retailers.
During this period, stores typically offer substantial discounts on a wide range of products, including electronics, toys, clothing, and other popular gift items.
Superintendent of police, cyber cell, Triveni Singh, said this marks heightened risk associated with the increased usage of voucher codes and newsletter emails while seeking bargain deals during Black Friday.
"Cybercriminals exploit the excitement surrounding Black Friday by creating fake websites to persuade unsuspecting consumers into sharing sensitive information such as account passwords, payment details, or personal information.
These stolen credentials can then be used to steal identities, commit financial fraud, or cause other harm," Singh said. Singh further cautioned against clicking on links in phishing emails, texts, or messages that appear to be from legitimate companies or organisations. These links may lead to fake websites designed to steal personal information or install malware on unsuspecting devices. “Fraudsters often create fake customer support websites, Medicare or health insurance websites, package delivery websites, or airfare-booking websites to target unsuspecting individuals. These websites may request personal information or credit card details under the guise of providing services or verifying accounts,” he said. The cyber cell has urged online shoppers to adopt safe practices to protect themselves from cyber scams during Black Friday and throughout the holiday shopping season. “Every year on the pretext of ‘Black Friday’ deals, scores of citizens get duped. They eagerly even wait for the next four-five days thinking they will get the benefits. However, when they get no response and the sites they had visited disappear, they realise that they were cheated,” said the officer. ENDS
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