Guidelines for Black Friday Scams

With the economy making a slow recovery, consumers more than ever are taking advantage of Black Friday for bargain-hunting.


On Black Friday, they expect to find the best deals of the holiday season. Knowing this, many scammers take advantage. Here are some guidelines con artists use to deceive buyers.

Black Friday online deals. Don't trust websites listed beyond the first couple of pages. They are likely shell sites, designed only to get your credit card information.

Beware of used gift cards on websites. Scout reviews for third-party vendors. The cards could be worthless, reported as stolen and then disabled.

Unsolicited Black Friday email "one day only" offers. Delete these emails or report them as spam. Clicking on links will help scammers get your credit card information.

Drastically-reduced electronic store products. Ten-dollar iPads and five-dollar digital cameras are scams to get your credit card number.

Bait-and-switch. Be wary of scammers offering expensive laptops or audio speakers in a parking lot. They'll hustle you, but all you'll end up with will be an empty box. Even if the packaging looks new, don't trust it. They know how to shrink-wrap used packaging.

Be suspect about GPS apps. Large retailers and scammers create these to guide you through an array of tech gadgets to part you with your wallet, sometimes fraudulently. Search for recommendations from reputable finance publications like CNN Money.

Impulse buying. Don't buy on impulse because you believe you'll lose the bargain-of-the-century. Scammers are counting on you to buy without thinking. Take your time to consider the offer before you act.

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