Beware of Black Friday Scams – How to Protect Yourself and Shop Smart

Love it or loathe it – Black Friday is coming. This festive period is a paradise for bargain hunters and hackers alike.

Black Friday Warning IT Manchester

Black Friday has soared in popularity in the UK, but the days of queuing overnight outside your favourite store are shifting to days relaxing on the living room sofa. But just because you can secure a deal while wearing your favourite pyjamas doesn’t mean you can let your guard down – online shopping is a goldmine for hackers. And with 39% of Brits expected to shop this year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday according to Finder, shoppers are at risk.

While online shopping is convenient, it comes with a fair share of risks, particularly during Black Friday and Cyber Monday when scammers are more active than ever. In this blog, we'll explore a few popular Black Friday scams and how to recognise their tell-tale signs.

So, What Are Some Of The Most Common Black Friday Scams?


‘Phishing’ is when scammers present you with fake emails, websites and mobile apps in an attempt to gain your trust and trick you into revealing personal information. Fake mobile apps and websites with well-designed branding are clever ways scammers try to phish your sensitive data.

Reputable retailer sites such as Amazon and Argos have strong security systems and handle millions of transactions a day - so they are your best bet to keeping safe. If you find yourself on a website you’ve never seen before, there’s probably a reason why. Use caution. We recommend you check the URL of the website and look for website URLs starting with ‘https’ rather than ‘http,’ as they are secure.

You can check if the checkout process is secured by seeing if there’s a padlock symbol by the URL. Using PayPal or Google Checkout is a useful extra layer of protection so if you have them - use them. Anything asking you to confirm bank details via email is likely suspicious so we would advise against it.

Here's another useful tip: Don’t shop on your mobile phone. We know many people find it easier. In fact, up to 60% of online shopping came through a mobile device in 2023 according to Statista Market Insights — but it’s not worth the risk. It leaves you much more vulnerable than a desktop or laptop would.


On top of phishing, Black Friday scams can lead to malware disruptions that may damage your computer or mobile. Trust your instincts. If it looks unprofessional or has too many pop-ups, it’s probably a dodgy site. Avoid clicking links to retailers from social media, as these links are often how the malware is released.

Items not as described

The cases about fake, faulty or non-existent products being sold online are at an all-time high during Black Friday. Retailers purposely create a sense of urgency, so you panic purchase items over fears of missing a good deal, but it may not be what you think. Make sure you check the returns policy before the sale, so you know your rights. The Consumer Rights Act gives you 30 days for a refund if an item is faulty or damaged.

We all know Black Friday and similar sales events offer fantastic bargains – but be realistic. Something worth hundreds of pounds is unlikely to be sold for 10% of that price. It’s tempting but more than likely it’s fake. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

There have been reports of people being overcharged for items, receiving empty boxes and even receiving defective, dangerous electrical goods. Products marketed as being especially for Black Friday are worth avoiding, even if they look similar to the product you originally wanted, even if they’re not fake, they’re likely substandard.

Using a credit card is a good idea since if you receive a fake product, or the product doesn’t turn up, you can go directly to your credit card provider, as they are jointly responsible for purchases with goods providers. It is much easier to potentially get your money back with a credit card than a debit card.

Even legitimate retailers can scam you, however, as they may not actually reduce their prices at all so it’s worth keeping an eye on current prices to ensure you’re getting a genuine deal – Which? found 60% of Black Friday 2016 deals were actually the same price or even cheaper during other periods.

It’s easy to be tempted by a bargain – but it may end up costing you more. Paying for replacement items or having your details phished can end up being much more expensive for you. At Remedian, we have a team of experts that can keep your school or business safe all year around.

Protecting yourself during these sales is so important. Whilst Black Friday & Cyber Monday can be an ideal way to get a better deal on a whole range of products, including electricals, make sure you’re getting safe, genuine products. Don’t end up with it costing you much more for having to pay for replacements or having your details phished. Remedian providing outstanding IT support for schools and businesses and can protect you all year around from phishing as well as solving all your IT issues. For more information, get in touch.
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