Skip to Content

3 Cyber Monday scams that are spreading

It’s easy to get a little careless on Cyber Monday. Your family and friends want great gifts and the latest gadgets and there are so many great bargains and so many sites pushing you to buy, buy, buy!

But take a breath before pressing that button or filling out that form. Criminals love using the urgency of Cyber Monday savings to drive their own Cyber Monday scams.

It’s all too easy to get swept up, click the wrong thing, and get yourself in a heap of trouble.

The exact scams change every year, but here are three big hustles we’re anticipating during Cyber Monday in 2018.

Bonus: 3 Black Friday and Cyber Monday insider secrets stores don’t want you to know.

Did you order this?

It happens every year: Buy a bunch of things, get a bunch of shipping emails, then try and figure out where your stuff is. Be careful before clicking that link. Scammers love to use the urgency of the season and the trust we place in shipping companies against us.

Fake delivery and shipping notifications can look just like the real thing, using real logos and art from company websites. Sometimes it’s a simple (but fake) delivery notification and sometimes it’s meant to get you clicking by pretending you ordered thousands of dollars of merchandise. It’s easy to get upset, click to see what’s going on, and wind up with a huge hassle on your hands.

Avoid this scam by typing in the address of the shipping company yourself, then use the confirmation email you got when you ordered and type in the tracking information yourself. Some major sites like Amazon will also update your order with real shipping information. That means you can log in, check your order, and avoid clicking on a bad link.

Bonus: Watch out for these clever holiday scams

Special savings

People love getting a good deal on Cyber Monday and scammers love to take advantage of that. Be on the lookout for fake links to coupons and too-good-to-be-true savings on forums and websites dedicated to Black Friday deals. They’ll even set up phony versions of retailer websites so you click through, think everything is fine, and type in your credit card information without thinking. 

Always check the URL you’ve clicked through and make sure the link actually goes where it says it goes. Better still, open up a new browser and type in the retailer’s site, then find the item that way. You can double-check if you’re getting a great deal or if you’re about to get scammed.

Bonus: Get cash back without even trying

Social offers

We all love Facebook for seeing pictures of our friends and Twitter for keeping up with current events. However, holiday shopping time is also prime time for social media scams. With all the pressure of the holidays, it’s tempting to click that link for a $100 Walmart gift card or fill out a “survey” to get a few more bucks but don’t give in to temptation. It’s easier than ever to create a fake social media account, buy a few followers, then lie, cheat, and steal your way to an illegal payday.

Before clicking, take a minute and consider things like the way the link is written and who is posting it. If Grandma only shares pictures of her cats or Uncle Jim only talks about fishing, they probably aren’t using lots of exclamation points and weird characters to talk about a free coupon just for clicking a link.

Scammers may also use URLs that don’t pass the sniff test because they’re all about scamming a bunch of people and disappearing. If the URL doesn’t look quite right, it’s probably a scam.

Here are the deals, listen now

Listen to Kim talk about the best deals awaiting you on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Tap or click below to listen to Komando on Demand.

cryptocurrency e-book hero

New eBook: ‘Cryptocurrency 101’

Don't want to lose your dough to crypto? Check out my new eBook, "Cryptocurrency 101." I walk you through buying, selling, mining and more!

Check it out