Black Friday isn't for another week and a half, but on the Internet it's been Black Friday all month long. If you're going online to get your shopping done early, watch out for these four scams.
1. Gift cards and coupon deals. You'll get a lot of emails offering you free gift cards, or gift cards with ridiculous discounts. The scam is to get you to enter your personal information online, so they can hack into your accounts or buy stuff in your name.
2. E-cards and video greetings. Some scammers will send you e-cards or videos that download malware to your computer when you click on them. They might even come from a familiar email or Twitter account, if one of your friends gets hacked.
3. Secret shopper jobs. You might get a job offer to be a secret shopper at stores in your area, and you'll even get real checks in the mail. They'll tell you to cash the checks, go shopping, and then wire the rest of the money back to the company.
These ones are rough because your bank will tell you the check has cleared, and the money is available. But later they'll take the money back, when they find out the check was forged. And meanwhile you already wired money from your own account.
4. Incredible discounts from unfamiliar sites. You make a purchase and give them your credit card info, and they use it to buy stuff on the REAL site where you should have gone in the first place.