November 27, 2013

Editorial: Beware ripoffs while shopping

While some North Country residents would never consider setting foot in a store on Thanksgiving, thousands of other local people are already planning their annual “Black Friday” shopping strategy.

Black Friday will have to get a new name in future years, if the 2013 retail scenario is any indication.

Most major big-box stores around the area will be open at least part of the day on Thursday. The anchor stores at Champlain Centre mall will all be open Thanksgiving evening, with the other stores following by 10 p.m.

Many consumers will also be looking for special sales online a few days later on Cyber Monday.

But whether you shop online or in stores, be warned that unscrupulous people are out there looking to pocket some of your money.

Scambook, an online complaint-resolution site, is warning consumers about this holiday season’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday scams. Here’s a look at a few ripoffs from 2012 that are expected again this year, as detailed by Scambook:

Free $1,000 Best Buy gift card text message: Scammers text consumers to offer a $1,000 Best Buy gift card when they enter a code, delivered through text, on and This year’s scam may reference Best Buy or a different retailer, such as Target or Wal-Mart. 

Fake leaked Black Friday ads: Scammers exploit the trust people have for corporate brands, leaking supposed ads offering downloadable coupons. These emails — which people in Plattsburgh have already reported seeing — are actually a phishing scheme designed to steal personal information or install malware on consumers’ computers.

False videos and eCards carrying viruses: Emails sent through social-media platforms are a popular scheme during the holidays, a time when friends and family share seasonal video clips or send eCards. Fake videos and eCards may contain viruses designed to infect the recipients’ computer or steal information. 

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