Scammers Target Singles Day Shoppers
Shoppers need to be on the lookout for scammers as Singles Day begins in China and other countries around the world, the BBC reports. Singles Day is the world’s largest online shopping event, originally started by Chinese online retail giant Alibaba. Other countries and companies now have their own versions of the event, and the BBC says the merchandise value of Singles Day last year was “double that of Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.”
“This year’s event is expected to continue to break records across Asia, as more people stay home and shop online amid the Covid-19 pandemic, while those unable to travel overseas for shopping trips are expected to ‘revenge spend’ online,” the BBC writes. “It represents a huge honeypot for scammers who, over the years, have come up with increasingly innovative ways to trick consumers, from creating fake apps to claims of formaldehyde-soaked clothes. Some shoppers in China have lost tens of thousands of dollars to such ruses.”
Yeo Siang Tiong from Kaspersky told the BBC that scammers have grown savvier and are putting more effort into making their schemes believable.
“In addition, many of the phishing scams in particular have become quite convincing, making it hard for consumers to differentiate between truth and fiction,” Yeo said.
The BBC concludes that shoppers need to know how to recognize the signs of a scam and the tactics used by scammers.
“Never give away critical personal information such as bank account details over the phone,” the BBC says. “E-commerce platforms such as Taobao would typically have a customer’s bank information already saved in their system, so refunds should be able to be processed automatically. Fake refund scams also often offer you more than what you paid for, which would rarely happen in a real situation. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. As for Internet phishing scams, double check web addresses if you are redirected to them from other landing pages, said Kaspersky’s Mr Yeo, or try to access deal pages directly through the legitimate website.”