Amazon Scam Luring People In On Black Friday

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Scammers tricked consumers searching for "Amazon" on Google to lure in shoppers just a day before Black Friday.

The criminals set up a fake Amazon advert at the top of Google's search results, reports CBS News.

When they clicked on the ad, consumers were directed to a fake page reportedly run by a "Windows Support team."

Visitors were tricked into believing their system was infected with malware and were advised to call a free support line for help.

Once consumers called the number, the scammers attempted to take over their computer remotely while charging them a "one-time fee of $149.99."

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Google's AdSense platform says it has since removed the false ad.

"We strictly prohibit advertising of illegal activity and have removed these ads and suspended the account," said a spokesman.

It's just one of many scams created in an attempt to lure in Black Friday customers.

According to a 2017 Cyber Monday Phishing Survey from DomainTools, 2 in 5 U.S. consumers have fallen victim to an online phishing attack, reports USA Today.

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"Black Friday is a prime opportunity for fraudsters to target shoppers looking for deals on Christmas presents," said Detective Inspector Chris Felton of Action Fraud, which is based in the U.K., reports The Telegraph.

Consumers in 2017 are at even greater risk than usual.

This Black Friday and Cyber Monday is set to be the most fraudulent on record.

Customers should avoid clicking on links in shopping-related SMS and Whatsapp messages, as these platforms are often used by scammers who are attempting to steal information.

"We have recently seen a spike in reporting of Whatsapp supermarket voucher scams so people should be cautious about Black Friday deals they receive in a Whatsapp message," Felton explained.

It's not just these threats consumers should worry about, though. Scammers use a variety of methods to trick customers.

"We urge people to never click on unsolicited links in messages, even if they appear to come from a trusted contact," Felton said. "Also clear your browsing history and cookies. Fraudsters may have installed cookies on your phone that track you, or add browser extensions that can be used to show you advertisements. If you believe you have fallen victim to fraud, please report it to us."

Jeremy Stempien, detective for the City of Novi, Michigan and a special federal deputy marshal for the Southeast Michigan Financial Crimes Task Force, echoed similar sentiments to U.S. customers.

"Be suspicious of incoming email from unknown or unsolicited sources, especially those that have attachments as well as hyperlinks," said Stempien.

"The same should apply to incoming phone calls," he added.

Sources: CBS News, USA TodayThe Telegraph / Featured Image: Colin/Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: Kcida10 via Wikimedia Commons, Gridprop/Wikimedia Commons

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