By Nomali Cele
Black Friday is a global phenomenon that originated in the United States. Over the last five years, it has gotten traction here in South Africa with many retailers throwing their hats in the ring and offering customers what is supposed to be big discounts and price cuts.
But for many selective customers, the marketing ploy of black Friday always seems like just that: A away to get them to spend money they wouldn’t spend otherwise. Americans are accustomed to savings of over 70% during their black Friday so the 10% savings offered by many local retailers during Black Friday Sales in South Africa is nothing. This makes many of these cautious shoppers question whether the purchases are even worth it. Black Friday safety tips are necessary as the sales grow.
Another thing is a rise in money-savvy shoppers tracking items they have on their shopping lists only to find that what is marked as a saving during Black Friday sales isn’t quite that.
Black Friday sales in South Africa also present a security issue for those wanting to participate. Online security and online transformation company Fortinet has a few Black Friday safety tips for those shoppers looking to avoid scams and spending needlessly this Black Friday.
- Don’t click through to websites from emails. Before clicking on a link, hover the mouse over it to check the URL. If it replaces letters with numbers, such as amaz0n.com don’t click on it. If you see a tempting deal, rather type in the known site URL and look for the deal yourself.
- Phishing attacks can also be carried out through rogue mobile apps, which can also be used to mine for data or install ransomware. Be wary of unexpected invitations to install new apps on your mobile device.
- Stick to reputable online retailers. If a site looks unprofessional, has a lot of popups, bad grammar, unclear descriptions and misspelt words, it may not be legitimate.
- Make sure your connection is secure. When you are about to make a purchase, look at the address bar of your browser and make sure that it starts with https:// rather than http://, or look for a small lock icon on your browser. These mean that your transaction is protected.
- Before shopping, check the payment mode. Avoid sites that require direct payments from your bank, wire transfers, or untraceable forms of payment.
- Use your credit card and not your debit card to make a purchase, as most credit cards have built-in fraud protection and are not directly connected to your savings account. Even better – use a credit card that has limited credit available: that way, there are limited funds available to be potentially stolen.
- Don’t fall for emails or phone calls apparently from your bank, asking you for personal information or card PIN numbers. If the communication sounds legitimate, call your bank back yourself.
- Subscribe to your bank’s SMS notification service to be alerted to every transaction.