Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are back, and this year they come with a new warning

Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are back, and this year they come with a new warning

A finance expert warns consumers to not let the excitement of Black Friday blind them to potential scams.

Dr Angel Zhong, Associate Professor, Finance

Topics: sales tricks, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, scams

“While Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales encourage spending for their perceived savings, they are also a money-making opportunity for scammers. 

“Increasing cybersecurity breaches and scams mean people need to be extremely cautious of the authenticity of marketing over email and text.

“To avoid falling victim to a sales scam, it’s important to verify the authenticity of online deals, avoid clicking suspicious links, and always double-check the website's link. 

“Be cautious of unsolicited emails or texts claiming unbelievable discounts. Stick to reputable retailers and always check for secure payment options.

“In addition to the newer threats, people should continue to be wary of sales tactics businesses continue to use to lure buyers into a sale that is too good to be true.

“Pay attention to deals labelled with a huge discount, as there are normally other tricks to the advertised deal, such having to buy more to get the sale price or terms and conditions voiding return and refunds. 

“Watch out for the perceived generosity of Buy-Now-Pay-Later schemes. BNPL can add up if used on multiple purchases and may give people an extra debt hangover. Steep late payment fees are also a risk of BNPL if not paid on time.

“Sales are all around us, all the time, and the big hype around Black Friday and Cyber Monday is designed to make consumers think they’ll never get as good a deal again and that they may miss out if they don't buy anything.

“It’s important to assess your own financial situation, consider what you need and budget accordingly to ensure your short-term sales excitement doesn't turn into long-term financial pain.” 

Angel Zhong is a finance academic who specialises in empirical asset pricing, digital finance, global financial markets, investor behaviour and the recent trends in retail investing. 

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