Black Friday scam warning as cybersecurity experts report huge surge in dangerous emails | #emailsecurity | #phishing | #ransomware


Black Friday deals are already available from most big brands and high street retailers, in stores and online, with bigger discounts expected ahead of the annual global sales event on November 26.

However, the threat intelligence team at cybersecurity firm, Egress, have reported a surge in phishing emails with scammers posing as popular delivery services such as Hermes, DPD, DHL and Royal Mail in the run-up to the weekend-long sales bonanza.

Egress researchers have recorded a 50 per cent increase in these dangerous types of emails since last month, which they say is happening much earlier in the year than usual.

With many bargain hunters starting their Christmas shopping early this year due to concerns around shipping delays, cybercriminals are starting early too.

Cybersecurity experts are warning shoppers to be on their guard for early Black Friday email scams.

People accessing emails fro a mobile phone or tablet device are at greater risk from scammers

Commenting on the surge in phishing scams, Egress CEO Tony Pepper, said: “Black Friday is cybercriminals’ favourite time of year. With shoppers expected to spend £4.8bn over Black Friday weekend, Black Friday and Cyber Monday offer criminals the perfect opportunity to scam unsuspecting shoppers.

“Pent-up demand and concerns over supply chain issues are expected to drive retailers to launch their promotions early, and I would urge consumers to be wary of scams. With a longer promotional window leading up to Black Friday, there’s also a bigger window of opportunity for scammers.”

Egress is advising shoppers to watch out for a high volume of retailer impersonation scams.

Retailers will be sending out a flurry of legitimate emails showcasing their discounts and promotions, and it can be difficult for recipients to know what’s real and what’s a phishing scam.

Look out for phishing emails imitating the top retailers such as Amazon and be wary of emails promising a refund, discount or coupon unless you’re expecting it or can verify the email.

Latest Scams To Look Out For

Egress top tips for spotting dangerous scam emails

Look for spelling mistakes

One of the easiest ways to spot a phishing email is to look for spelling and grammar mistakes. It’s rare to see spelling errors in a legitimate email from a big brand and this is often a telltale sign that the email is a scam.

Check the email domain

Cybercriminals will often use an email domain that is similar, but not identical to, the domain used by the brand they’re impersonating.

Look closely for small differences, for example numbers where there would usually be letters, or repeated letters. For example, an email from info@amaz0n.com or info@amaazon.com is likely to be a scam.

It’s even more important to check this when you’re viewing an email on a mobile phone or tablet, as often the full email address is hidden.

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Hover over links before clicking

Cybercriminals want you to click on the links in the email because this is how they steal your passwords, credit card details, personal information or get you to download malicious software on your device.

You can often tell whether a link is legitimate by hovering over it as this will show you a preview of the real URL.

If the email tells you the link is going to Amazon, but the preview says otherwise, it’s likely a scam.

Take your time

Hackers are skilled at using social engineering techniques. These frequently rely on creating urgency and rushing you into doing what they want you to do which usually involves clicking a link or opening a malicious attachment.

Take a moment to stop and think before reacting.

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