Four top Black Friday scams 


Black Friday shoppers, be vigilant. Hackers pray for those looking to bag a good deal online in 2022. 

One of the year’s busiest shopping days is Black Friday, and with more sales happening online, hackers are out to make a profit. The day after the US Thanksgiving holiday is known as Black Friday—a day full of special offers, deep discounts, and shopping binges. 

Given the recent spike in searches for the most incredible Black Friday offers, I should caution customers to look out for online scams. 

Here are the top 4 frauds expected in the run-up to Black Friday this year.

Phishing attacks

Since 2020, the number of phishing attacks has tripled, with one million coming in the first six months of 2022. As I’ve previously written, phishing is the practice of con artists using personalized and timed emails or texts to get sensitive information, like passwords, account numbers, and credit card numbers, to mention a few. 

Do not click on any links in emails. If a problem with your account needs addressing, go directly to the company’s website.

Verification code hijacking

In code hijacking, hackers attempt to get your information by posing as your bank or another company you know. “Your account has an issue,” claims a phoney caller pretending to be a company representative. They issue you a code via email or text to verify your identification. By entering the code, you grant someone access to log into your account and withdraw your money. 

Use two-step authentication and create strong, safe, distinctive passwords to protect yourself. If you are suspicious, hang up. To confirm, call the business at their primary number.  

Venomous browser extensions

Hackers may employ several malicious browser extensions to alter your browser’s settings. A browser extension is a little software module that can change a web browser’s features, such as user interface, cookie management, ad blocking, custom scripting and web page layout. 

You may have a malicious extension if you receive more spam and fraudulent emails. Spyware from hackers may have unintentionally added extensions to your device. I do not advise installing browser add-ons that provide Black Friday shopping discounts.

Unheard of websites

Double-check any websites you are using. Do some research if you have yet to hear of a site offering Black Friday discounts. Some websites claim they provide social media proof of the legitimacy of little-known sites—they, too, may be under the influence of Black Friday hackers.

The best methods to keep secure on social media are to be on the lookout for online fraud and to take extra precautions to safeguard the privacy of your account.

Download our interactive mobile app, FRAUDSTER, available on Apple and Android, to learn more about cyber consumer concerns, such as best protection techniques. You can learn more at

If you’ve already downloaded the FraudsterApp, click the training icon on the home screen to learn to protect yourself, or visit . Be safe out there, my friends.

Terry Cutler

I’m Terry Cutler, the creator of Internet Safety University, an educational system helping to defend corporations and individuals against growing cyber threats. I’m a federal government-cleared cybersecurity expert (a Certified Ethical Hacker), and the founder of Cyology Labs, a first-line security defence firm headquartered in Montréal, Canada. In 2020, I wrote a bestselling book about the secrets of internet safety from the viewpoint of an ethical hacker. I’m a frequent contributor to National & Global media coverage about cyber-crime, spying, security failures, internet scams, and social network dangers families and individuals face daily.