Black Friday is a field day for fraudsters

Beware! Fraudsters are making use of our enthusiasm to spend cash on Black Friday offers by setting up fake online web shops in order to defraud you! Activity by online fraudsters ahead of the Black Friday bonanza has soared by eighty percent!

Christof Jacques, internet safety expert at Check Point, a business specialised in cybersecurity, warns that many fraudsters are attempting to copy special offers made by bona fide online stores. He urges us to scrutinise email addresses because fraudsters like to tweak the email addresses of the big online operators like and Amazon in order to dupe us.

Frederik Van de Meulebroucke of Phished, a Leuven based outfit specialised in combating internet fraud, warns the lockdown is providing extra opportunity: non-essential stores are closed and many of us are forced online to satisfy our urge at consumerism. 

VRT News noticed that online fraudsters congregate in online groups specialised in hacking.  We gained access to tens of thousands of messages and discovered how fake ads were used to defraud us as we all headed online. The websites of famous companies are constantly being copied.

Fraudsters employ ‘panels’.  These are collections of fake websites.  The websites seem genuine.  When you make a purchase you are invited to log in on a fake website of your bank.  The panel will then remember your details including the PIN code you enter. You could lose hundreds of euros as a result.

Recognise the fraudsters by being wary of offers that are too good to be true. Scrutinise the email address.  Fraudsters are often not too hot on spelling and grammar! Check the website address: a secured website will start with https, while you’ll find http at the start of an unsecured URL. Businesses are obliged to post terms of sale.  Fraudsters often couldn’t be bothered to draw these up.  Check for the obligatory business number too.  If it’s not indicated, abort your purchase!

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