KIS Bridging Loans
Presented by KIS Finance
Black Friday Scams    and How to Avoid Them

Black Friday takes place this year on Friday 25th November but a lot of big name retailers have already started their sales. 

According to, consumers in the UK spent a massive £4.75 billion over the course of the Black Friday weekend last year. Shopping is expected to ease of a little bit this year due to the cost of living crisis, however we are still anticipating billions to be spent in the sales.

With nearly every major retailer running sales over the same weekend, Black Friday gives scammers a golden opportunity to con people out of their hard earned money.  

As a finance company we urge you to watch out for tricks scammers use if you are looking to take out a loan or other form of finance. This is often in the form of promising finance but only after an upfront fee has been paid. We don’t ask for any fees, plus you can check the cost of many loans using our secured loan calculator which is free and provides instant results.

Here are 7 different scams that you need to watch out for as we head towards Black Friday.

Black Friday promotion phishing emails

Phishing emails are one of the oldest tricks in the book, but they still work and millions, if not billions, are sent out by scammers every single day. Scammers are constantly evolving their methods and techniques in order to make their phishing attempts more sophisticated and believable.

A lot of major retailers promote their Black Friday discounts via email and this gives scammers the perfect opportunity to send out phishing emails that don’t look suspicious or out of place.

A phishing email is where scammers pose as a genuine retailer, company, organisation, or bank in an attempt to steal people’s personal information and bank details.

In this case, scammers will send out phishing emails that advertise Black Friday discounts. They usually spoof large companies, like Amazon or Argos, that have millions of customers and will have genuine Black Friday sales on.

They will create a fake email address and display name so it looks genuine when it pops up in people’s mail boxes, and they will copy the format of genuine emails that have been sent out from the retailer in previous years.

The email will contain a link to the ‘retailer’s’ website which they will urge you to click if you want to access the sale. This, however, will actually take you to a bogus website which has been designed to steal your information. Malicious websites like this may also download viruses and malware onto your device. 

How to identify and avoid Black Friday phishing emails

Scammers are continuously developing their techniques in order to make phishing emails harder to detect every day. However, there are still a couple of tell-tale signs.

The most important thing is to look closely at is the sender’s email address. Scammers won’t be able to use the genuine retailer’s domain so they will spoof it to look as similar as possible. Look for any random numbers, letters, or symbols that look suspicious. Alternatively, it will come from a completely random, unknown email address and the scammers just spoof the display name.

Also make sure that you check the email for any spelling or grammar errors and look at the overall language used and formatting of the email. Phishing emails are getting more difficult to detect, but bad formatting and spelling/grammar is usually a big give away.

The final thing is to simply apply a common sense approach to sales and discounts. If everywhere else is advertising one product for a similar sort of price, you should be very wary of an email that’s advertising it at a much bigger discount. If a deal sounds too good to be true then it probably is.

‘There is a problem with your delivery’ phishing scams

This scam is another example of a Black Friday related phishing email.

Online shopping numbers go through the roof over the Black Friday weekend and the festive season, and most households will have something due for delivery over this time of year.

This is another way that scammers like to trick people into handing over their details.

Scammers pose as a well-known delivery service, like Royal Mail or DPD, and send out emails to say that there’s a problem with your delivery. They will urge you to follow a link to ‘rearrange your delivery’ and threat that your item will be sent back to the retailer if you don’t act quickly. They know this tactic will work around Black Friday and Christmas as people may lose track of what they’ve got on order and they may worry about a gift not turning up.

The link will take you to a malicious website, designed to look like the genuine site of the company they’re spoofing, which will capture your personal information so they can steal your identity. They may also ask you to pay for your delivery to be rearranged.

How to identify and avoid a fake delivery scam

If you receive an email that says there is a problem with your delivery and you know you have some deliveries due, then go to the courier’s website through your search engine – NOT the link in the email.

Then find your tracking number through the website that you ordered from and enter this on the courier’s tracking portal. This will tell you whether there are any delivery problems, and it will also alert you if the tracking number is incorrect. In that case, you will know that the retailer is using a different courier service and that the email is a scam.

Social media - Facebook and Instagram messaging scams

Scammers hack into Facebook and Instagram accounts and send out hundreds of messages to the hacked users’ followers and friends/family.

Around Black Friday scammers will send out links to fake retail websites which are supposedly offering the best deals or even pre-loaded gift cards and/or vouchers. The scammer will claim that they’ve just used the website or purchased a gift card (as the person they’ve hacked) and that it’s a completely genuine offer. They sometimes even try the double bluff by admitting that the offer looks like a scam but promise that it isn’t.

The link will take you to malicious website which has purely been designed to steal your information. If you try to purchase items from the sale or the advertised gift cards/vouchers then the scammers will disappear with your bank details and the items that you ordered will never arrive.

How to identify and avoid social media messaging scams

Consider who has sent you the message and whether it’s someone that you interact with usually. If it’s somebody that you never speak to online and this message appears out of the blue then you should act with caution.

If it’s somebody that you know well then also look at how the message is worded and whether this is normal for how you usually speak to eachother.

If you receive a message like this from anyone then you should always contact them via an alternative method to check whether it’s genuine. If it’s not genuine, then they should be informed so they can sort the problem to prevent others from falling victim.

Malicious social media adverts

Another common Black Friday scam is fake adverts posted on popular social media sites like Facebook and Instagram.

With billions of people using social media every day, adverts are seen by huge audiences which is why this is a perfect opportunity for scammers.

They are able to post adverts of the same malicious websites they try and steer people to in their phishing emails. Once you have clicked on the advert, you will be taken to the fake shopping site which will probably look quite genuine. They often use images stolen from genuine retailers so they look authentic, or, they will post images of well-known expensive brands and advertise them at a cheaper price.

Then, when you go ahead with your purchase, you will be asked to enter your personal and bank details, like any genuine retailer, but you will never receive what you ordered. The scammer will also keep your details in order to commit identity theft and other fraud.

How to identify and avoid malicious Black Friday social media adverts

Just because an advert is on social media, it doesn’t mean that it’s genuine – anyone can post an advert.

When you go onto any retail website via an advert, check the address bar to see if there is a green padlock and the word ‘secure’. If there isn’t, assume the website isn’t safe and leave it immediately – and definitely don’t enter any details.

Fake Black Friday retailers

Some criminals will set up entirely fake and malicious retail websites which advertise products that simply don’t exist.

These scammers will often steal images and descriptions from genuine retailers but advertise the products at a much cheaper price. They will usually use social media and phishing emails to advertise their website and the promotions.

If you order a product from one of these websites, then the scammers will disappear with your personal information and bank details. The items you ordered will either never arrive or you will be sent something cheap and/or broken.

How to identify and avoid fake Black Friday retailers 

If you’re looking to buy particular brands and products this Black Friday then make sure you’re only looking at the brand’s genuine website, or a well-known trusted stockist like Amazon or Argos.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t purchase anything from a website that you haven’t heard of before, but it’s important to be vigilant.

Only shop on websites with a padlock symbol in the address bar and a URL that starts with HTTPS. This means that it’s a safe and secure website and any information that you enter will be encrypted and therefore unreadable by anyone trying to intercept it.

If you also shop with a credit card, this means that you’ll have extra protection if things do go wrong. When you spend more than £100 on a credit card then you will be protected under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. This means that your credit card provider can be held responsible and issue a refund if you never receive something that you ordered online, or if there is a problem with a purchase that the seller won’t resolve.   

Black Friday voucher and gift card scams

This phishing scam can come via email, text, or social media message and it involves scammers offering deals on gift cards or vouchers for well-known retailers who are running Black Friday sales.

They will usually send a link to  a website, which has been designed to look very similar to the retailer’s site, where you can claim your pre-loaded gift cards or vouchers.

They may just be advertising the gift cards for sale or they may run a survey or competition for you to win them. The survey or competition will ask for all of your personal details and then the scammers will capture this to either steal your identity or use it to try and log into your bank account.

How to identify and avoid Black Friday gift card scams

It’s important to be cautious of anything that is sent to you via an unsolicited email or message – phishing attempts are particularly rife so you need to be careful about everything that’s coming into your inbox at this time of year. Don’t click on any links that have been sent to you and if you’re interested in something then research into it via your search engine instead.

Black Friday competitions and prize draws

During the Black Friday promotions, some retailers may run competitions or prize draws to win gifts, cash or vouchers. A lot of these are genuine but, unfortunately, this is a trend which a lot of scammers have caught onto as well.

These fake prize draws will often be promoted on social media platforms, especially Facebook. The fraudster will lure people in by covering the advert in pictures of brand new iPhones, TVs or cash, for example. To be in with a chance of winning, you have to enter some personal details and answer some survey questions. In reality, there is no prize at all and the scammers are using this to collect your personal data. 

How to identify and avoid fake Black Friday competitions and prize draws

Identifying these scams just takes a little common sense and caution. Websites that aren’t genuine will often have a lot of flashy pop-up adverts, promise that you’ll win the prize draw, be covered in pictures of brand new technology and cash, and just generally give you a bad feeling.

Look at the URL bar at the top of your browser to check for signs of encryption. If there is a green padlock icon, any data you enter in the website is safe. If there isn’t a padlock, or it says ‘not secure’, do not enter any details and leave the website immediately.

Never enter personal or bank details into a website you don’t fully know and trust. Not all websites and online competitions are out to steal your information, a lot of them are genuine. But it’s really important to do your research into the website and look for all the security signs before entering any data. If you are unsure at all, just don’t do it – the chances of you winning these competitions are so small anyway, it’s not worth it.

Get our latest Black Friday shopping tips.


Find it useful? Please share!

Subscribe for Updates

We will email you monthly details of our latest:

  • Business and consumer guides
  • Finance news
  • Information and awareness about the latest frauds and scams, to help you avoid them.  
I want to receive email updates

By submitting your email, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Notice. You can opt out at any time.