By Danny Palmer, Senior Writer

“Black Friday offers opportunities to bag discount deals – and cyber criminals know online shoppers might let their guard down in the rush.

We’re heading into the busiest period for online shopping of the year, as people look for gifts and bargains ahead of the festive season. 

And now what was already a busy time for shopping is super-charged by Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the days bookending Thanksgiving weekend, where retailers offer major discounts and sales. Black Friday started as a phenomenon in the US, but has now spread to retailers around the world. 

But while Black Friday can offer a chance for shoppers to buy things at big discounts, the popularity of the event and the rush to grab bargains means that Black Friday is a major target for cyber criminals, fraudsters and scammers.

Cyber criminals are opportunists and will always exploit major events in order to conduct campaigns – and one where consumers are actively looking to hand over credit card information and other personal information to online retailers makes it the perfect opportunity to strike. 

According to the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), victims of online shopping scams lost an average of £1,000 ($1,176) each during the holiday shopping period last year – and the figure is rising.”

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