Virus restrictions, online sales change the face of Black Friday shopping | Business Local

Laveta Brigham

Online and non-store purchases likely will comprise 20% to 30% of those sales, somewhere between $202.5 billion and $218.4 billion. In 2019, shoppers bought $168.7 billion in holiday goods online or out-of-store. Computer and internet security organizations warn shoppers to make sure the Black Friday websites they visit are real, […]

Online and non-store purchases likely will comprise 20% to 30% of those sales, somewhere between $202.5 billion and $218.4 billion. In 2019, shoppers bought $168.7 billion in holiday goods online or out-of-store.

Computer and internet security organizations warn shoppers to make sure the Black Friday websites they visit are real, as more than 30 million new websites were registered between Nov. 1 and Nov. 20, with about 268,000 containing shopping-related keywords like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Cybersecurity company Comparitech reviewed those sites and found nearly 5,500 sites that were likely scam sites or phishing sites looking for email addresses and passwords. The company recommends shoppers never click on links or attachments in unsolicited emails and check spellings.

“Cybercriminals also frequently engage in typo-squatting, in which they buy domains with similar spelling to a legitimate domain so as to trick victims into thinking they’re on the genuine site,” wrote Paul Bischoff, of Comparitech, in a company newsletter describing the research.

“Phishing sites often imitate well-known sites such as the login page for PayPal, but during the holiday shopping season, cybercriminals set up original scam websites with tempting deals and rewards,” he wrote.

The retail federation report said consumers are likely to spend more money this year, noting U.S. government surveys that show increased savings due to lockdowns and the phenomenon known as COVID fatigue.

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