Business / Business News

Cheryl Kahla
Deputy Online News Editor
2 minute read
5 Nov 2021
2:30 pm

Black Friday: Beware of these online scams and fake sites

Cheryl Kahla

Scammers are getting ready for Black Friday and so should you. Here's how to stay safe online.

Picture: iStock

In the lead-up to Black Friday, FortiGuard Labs has identified scams involving counterfeit websites which appear to be legitimate e-commerce sites.

Several high-profile brands were targeted, including Facebook’s Oculus, Amazon’s Blink, Shimano, Keurig and Nespresso.

Black Friday scam warning

Beware of fake websites

FortiGuard said approximately 30% of all retail sales occur between Black Friday and Christmas Day, therefore it’s important to be vigilant before parting with your hard-earned money.

While some of these fake websites may appear to be the real deal, scammers will exploit your trust of a particular brand to steal your payment information.

FortiGuard said: “Fake e-commerce sites are quickly becoming the latest threat to consumers and they cover a wide range of products to lure potential buyers.”

Targeted brands

The company said it recently “came across an active scam that leverages the look and feel of the world’s largest companies […] to compel and lure victims into making purchases from their site”.

It has to be said: These fake sites are in no way affiliated to Facebook, Amazon, Nespresso or any of the other well-known brands mentioned in this article.

The brands targeted by scammers include:

  • Blink (Amazon)
  • Oculus (Facebook)
  • Shimano 
  • Coleman (Camping Gear)
  • Ninja (Home Appliances)
  • Nu Wave (Home Appliances)
  • Ryobi (Power tools)
  • Makita  (Power tools)
  • Keurig
  • Nespresso

Fake e-commerce sites

When creating fake e-commerce sites, scammers will use stolen imagery from the original brands – such as legitimate marketing materials and the company’s logo.

This is to give the impression that you really are purchasing from the real deal (for example: https://za.buynespresso.com/) while in fact, you may find yourself on https://buynespresso.shop, or something similar.

Also be on the lookout for domain names which were only recently registered, or sites containing numerous grammatical errors and inconsistencies in statements.

How to stay safe

Consider the trustworthiness of the website. This can be done by looking at the site’s SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate to confirm if all is order before entering your banking details.

Another way to verify the site’s standing is to look for the PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) compliance stamp.

In addition, trusted e-commerce sites would also have an EV SSL (Extended Validation Secure Sockets Layer) certificate.

And lastly: Don’t click on direct links in emails or text messages.