Posted by David Harley on November 25, 2017.
It’s not so many years ago that my arm was twisted into writing a blog article about Black Friday and Cyber Monday scams. I had to look up both terms before I wrote on the topic because they didn’t mean much to people in the UK back in 2009 (and in fact the term/marketing initiative Cyber Monday only dates back to 2005, though ‘Black Friday‘ dates back to the 60s if not earlier).
Well, here in the UK we seem to have made up for that gap in our lives… While Cyber Monday doesn’t seem to be that big a deal over here — probably because the growth of online shopping means that there’s less point in ‘celebrating’ different days for real-world versus online spending sprees — it now seems that Black Friday starts a week or two ahead of – er, Black Friday… – and merges imperceptibly into the pre-Xmas advertising spree.
I don’t suppose the amount of holiday-related fraud has lessened, but I haven’t been tracking it. In any case, security bloggers and even the general media are now covering all that so well (in terms of volume, if not always in accuracy or originality) that no-one really needs me chipping in with a further 2p’s* worth.
It does, perhaps, need saying again that these ‘holidays’ are retail-driven: they’re a way of pushing slow-moving stock off the shelves, often augmented by B-stock: products returned during the guarantee period, or end-of-line products bought cheaply and sold – well, not quite as cheaply. Sometimes, those ‘reduced’ items could have been better value in previous promotions. And as Martin Lewis has said (though I’m paraphrasing), even if it’s drastically reduced, it’s only a saving if it’s something you would have bought anyway at somewhere near full price. It isn’t fraud if it’s legal: but being misleading isn’t always illegal. On the whole, I think I’m more in sympathy with #BuyNothingDay.
Sorry, Kevin. Next time I put an article up here, I’ll try to include more direct security content and less curmudgeonliness. But this one is still a bargain. 😉
*Since I’m stepping heavily on the UK-centric pedal today