Beware of Cyber-scams this Black Friday, writes Satnam Narang of Tenable

CIOL Bureau
New Update
Black friday

While legitimate sellers are present on social media sites; such as TikTok and Facebook; the sheer number of scams I’ve observed compels me to advise users to be cautious this Black Friday. Shoppers must be especially wary of "free” offers that come with a price. These scams offer everything from free diet pills and “performance enhancers” to video games; even headsets and gift cards. They use fake celebrity endorsements and fake news articles to dupe unsuspecting shoppers; who then provide credit card details in exchange for “free” goods. This subjects the user to recurring subscription fees or other types of non-refundable charges.


Another popular shopping scam that will rear its ugly head this holiday season involves dropshipping schemes. Here, entrepreneurs sell the products without ever actually seeing the items themselves. They often buy the products through a third party, such as AliExpress. Here, you can buy similar items at a much cheaper rate. This allows them to significantly mark up the price. Dropshipped goods often include electronics, hardware, kitchen tools, clothing and accessories.

But, the problem isn’t with dropshipping itself.

The issue is that scammers are leveraging dropshipping to take advantage of unsuspecting consumers. These scammers promote heavily discounted goods on social platforms – making Black Friday a prime time for them to entice you with aggressive outreach or by purchasing advertisements directing you to their own branded Shopify-hosted websites. You could receive counterfeit goods, inferior quality items to that of the image or description shown, or the wrong product entirely. That’s assuming you receive anything at all!


Before making any purchase through social platforms, first, try to verify the source. For example, check to see if the item is available directly from places like AliExpress at a deeper discount, read reviews to gauge customer sentiment and, when in doubt, shop from a reputable source.

PS: For Indian readers, since the Government banned AliExpress 2 days ago, you can look for alternates like Meesho.