Cyber Monday Reveals Scammers As Sales Rocket

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Online retailers across the US last night were gearing for their biggest day of sales ever, with the value of goods sold online expected to easily top $1 billion in 24 hours.

The one-day frenzy was also expected to attract record numbers of scammers who push out malicious e-mails pretending to offer special deals, but in fact redirecting users who click on their e-mails to malicious sites that download malware onto their computers or trick them into divulging personal information.

Enterprises are also at great risk, since a significant chunk of the online shopping occurs while people are at work. Security software vendor McAfee has warned businesses to be alert for workers “putting their organisations at risk for malware, spam, phishing scams” and other threats.

Cyber Monday is the online version of “Black Friday”, the day after the USA’s Thanksgiving holiday when bricks-and-mortar stores traditionally offer a huge range of cut-price offers.

Last year, Cyber Monday sales topped $1 billion in the US, making it the biggest day for online retail so far. But that record was expected to topple yesterday with a record number of customers planning to hit retailers’ Web sites for the one-day-only deals.

Unlike most of the Black Friday offerings, many Black Monday deals are available to Australian and other international online shoppers as well as Americans.

According to a survey conducted for Shop.org, 122.9 million Americans were planning to shop on Cyber Monday this year, up from 106.9 million in 2010. Eager to meet consumers’ demands, nearly 80 percent of retailers will have a special promotion for Cyber Monday, according to a survey released last week.

More people were also expected to shop from work this year – 15.9 percent vs. 12.1 percent last year.

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