During Black Friday it is important to watch out for promotions that are too tempting to fall for scams on the Internet. In 2018, again, criminals should take advantage of the large flow of users on the web to attract victims to fake pages, sell nonexistent products and steal credit card data. In Brazil, the shopping event takes place mainly in e-commerce, which favors scammers. For this reason, institutions like Procon-SP publish lists of suspicious stores so that consumers can escape the so-called "Black Fraud".
READ: Black Friday tips: see strategies to save
The offer period officially takes place on November 23, but a portion of stores offer discounts in advance. Here are six tips to discover stores that should be avoided on Black Friday and learn how to protect yourself.
Black Friday: five tips for buying safely
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1. Shops to escape during Black Friday
Consumer protection entities publish lists of sites known to be fraudulent and to be avoided on Black Friday throughout the year. Before clicking on an offer from an unknown website, it is important to access the reputable banks of Procon-SP (Sistemas.procon.sp.gov.br/evitesite/list/evitesites.php), for example, which has 491 sites on list. According to the institution, monitoring is carried out constantly to check whether physical and virtual stores comply with the Consumer Protection Code. Sites that have complaints registered with Procon and that do not respond or are not found are listed.
Ebit (ebit.com.br/lojas-irregulares) and Buscap (buscape.com.br/lojas-nao-recomendadas) also publish similar listings. When accessing each one of them, press Ctrl + F on the keyboard to open the search box and type the name of the store to see if it is blacklisted.
Check Procon blacklist stores Photo: Reproduo / Procon-SP
2. Check that the connection is secure
Serious Internet merchants invest in SSL certificates to encrypt the customer's connection to the servers and ensure user security. So be wary right away if a site does not have protection. To identify SSL on a website, check if it has the letter S after HTTP in the address (HTTPS). Also check if there is a padlock or the certificate colored in green in the browser address bar. To avoid loading pages without the certificate, it is also recommended to disable ad blockers installed on the computer.
HTTPS pages are more secure Photo: Divulgao / Google
Even if a site has HTTPS, be wary if it doesn't offer a credit card payment option. To spend less on infrastructure, criminals may choose not to try to steal your bank details and instead apply simpler scams. The most common in this case is to see advertisements for expensive products at a very attractive price, with payment via fake ticket or bank transfer. Therefore, it is important to always be suspicious of promotions with these characteristics.
Be wary of sites that offer payment only via boleto or transfer Photo: Reproduo / Carolina Lais
4. Use social media carefully
Social networks can serve as an ally to check the reliability of a store. If you don't know a particular site, search for it on Facebook or Instagram and check the number of followers, ratings and user comments on the posts. Online stores with a long time in operation usually have social networks full of content, generating more credibility to the buyer.
On the other hand, it is important to be careful when accessing promotions that are advertised on social networks. In periods like Black Friday, the number of fake pages exploding imitating famous store franchises explodes. These fanpages usually clone the visual identity of the real store, changing only one detail in the name large retailers do not change the name in the period of Black Friday, so always be suspicious when there are terms like Black Friday Promotions in the name of the page. When in doubt, trust only pages with a verification visa.
Be wary of amazing promotions shared on Facebook Photo: Elson de Souza / TechTudo
5. Click on suspicious links
Do not click on promo links received by email, WhatsApp message or on social networks. Instead, access the store's website manually in your browser and search for the offer on the website you trust. It is important to be careful even with links sent by friends: if in doubt, confirm that the person really sent the content to you.
Black Friday should be the subject of several scams on WhatsApp Photo: Reproduction / Psafe
6. Check in Claim Here
Another useful way to get out of trouble on Black Friday is to check the reputation of the store at Reclame Aqui. Search the site on the service and analyze consumer reviews, especially with regard to the number of cases resolved. Large stores tend to have a high degree of complaints, but the best ones tend to solve problems quickly. A good way to check if the store is reliable by looking at the seal would do business again. The higher the level, the more chances you will have a good experience with e-commerce.
Claim Here you can be an ally to know the store's reputation Photo: Gabrielle Lancellotti / TechTudo