Secure Savings: Navigating Black Friday Deals Without Compromising Cyber Safety

News and information from the Advent IM team.

  • by Olivia Lawlor-Blackburn
  • General

Out for a bargain this Black Friday? Don’t compromise your cyber security while doing so.

The NCSC has released its latest campaign in the run-up to Black Friday to ensure consumers don’t fall victim to a Black Friday scam on their hunt for a bargain. Shoppers lost over £10 million to cyber criminals during last year’s festive shopping period, with 25–34 year olds most likely to fall victim.

This year, with the exponential rise of artificial intelligence, fraudsters are likely to use AI to increase the perceived legitimacy of their traps warns The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). Cyber criminals are likely to use AI technology such as language models to produce convincing scam emails, fake adverts and false websites.

While AI can have great benefits for society and industry, it is already being explored by cyber criminals who remain one step ahead of those trying to protect us.

Previously, false emails or texts could usually be spotted by poor grammar,  ‘unusual’ email addresses or requests you weren’t expecting. while AI may produce a more polished looking scam, many of the telltale signs will remain.

The NCSC are urging shoppers to look out for;

  • Urgency – an instruction rushing you to go through with your purchase quickly for example.
  • Scarcity – a message with vague details, or details you wouldn’t expect to come from a retailer.
  • Current events – criminals will exploit certain dates and times of year to make their scams seem legitimate.

“I would urge shoppers to follow the steps in our online shopping guidance, which includes setting up two-step verification and using passwords with three random words, so they’re easier to remember and harder to hack.” said Felicity Oswald, NCSC Chief Operating Officer. 

The campaign comes as new data was published by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB), run by the City of London Police, revealed that people in the UK lost £10.6 million to online criminals between November 2022 and January 2023.

Find the full campaign here.

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