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Fake online stores increase by 135% ahead of Black Friday 2023 – Report  

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A report by Netcraft, a global fraud protection solutions company, has revealed that fraudsters have been flooding the internet with fake online stores leading to a 135% increase at the end of October 2023.  

During Black Friday and Cyber Monday, many authentic websites offer huge discounts on real products, which makes it easier for cybercriminals to exploit trusting shoppers.

According to the report, while claiming to offer highly discounted goods, the fake online shops either impersonate the websites of luxury brands and established retailers or operate across multiple brands.  

It added that the websites are often a front to capture payment details and other sensitive information. The details shoppers submit can be used directly or sold to other cybercriminals.  

Black Friday is a colloquial term for the Friday after Thanksgiving in the United States. It traditionally marks the start of the Christmas shopping season in the United States. It has, however, become a global event as several stores in Nigeria also observe it every year with announcements of discounts on their products.  

Analyzing its findings, Netcraft said: 

The Netcraft report offers some insights into how shoppers can avoid falling victim. According to the company, the questions to ask include: 

Online shopping is reported to account for 5.7 trillion dollars spent in 2022. During the same period, cybercriminals and other threat actors committed nearly 41 billion dollars of fraud. 

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