5 Entertaining Cyber Week Deals that End Today

5 Entertaining Cyber Week Deals that End Today

There are many reasons to like the holiday season: food, family, movies, sports, and so on. But between the highlights, there’s often a lot of time to fill. Here are some fun products at MakeUseOf Deals that should keep you entertained through the holidays, now with up to 93% off. Be quick — these Cyber Week prices expire tonight.

Retro Gaming Console

Graphics are great, but nothing can compete with classic gameplay. This NES lookalike lets you enjoy over 600 retro titles on any HDMI display. The console comes with two controllers for multiplayer fun, and it’s portable enough to take on the road. Normally $ 299.99, the console is now just $ 44.99 — and use code CMSAVE20 for an extra 20% off.

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

There’s nothing better than sharing a mission with your buddies, and this FPS classic lets you wage warfare through the holidays. The single player mode takes you around the world on a campaign to stop ultranationalists and civil war. Worth $ 19.99, Modern Warfare is now $ 9.99 for a limited time.

Trainz: A New Era Platinum Edition Bundle

The world’s leading railroad simulator is back, and it’s packed with amazing new content. The Platinum Edition includes 16 new routes, three bonus train sets, and much more besides. In addition, train lovers will relish the extensive editing features and realistic physics. Worth $ 327, this bundle is now $ 19.99 with this deal.

Raspberry Pi 3B+ & 37 Sensors Starter Kit

What better way to spend the holidays than learning about electronics? With parts and step-by-step instructions for 35 projects, this Raspberry Pi starter kit should keep you busy well into 2019. Along with a Raspberry Pi 3B+, you get 37 sensors and useful accessories. You can get the kit now for $ 129.99, saving $ 20.

1MORE Dual Driver In-Ear Headphones

If music is your salvation, the 1MORE headphones should be on your wishlist. With dual drivers inside each aluminum alloy earpiece, they deliver rich sound with amazing clarity. In addition, these headphones are beautifully designed. The ergonomic shape makes them comfortable to wear, and the Kevlar-core cable should last for years. They’re worth $ 59.99, but you can grab them today for $ 45.99.

Read the full article: 5 Entertaining Cyber Week Deals that End Today

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7 Scams to Watch Out for on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

With Christmas approaching, shops feverishly publicize their best deals. But you can’t let supposed bargains go to your head. Companies rely on this momentary weakness—and so do cybercriminals.

Can you spot a Black Friday scam? How do you know if an online store is legit? How can you avoid fake sales? Here’s what to look out for this Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

1. Bait and Switch: Online and In-Store Variants

Festive gifts left around a Christmas tree

You might be tempted to enter competitions to fill the void left in your bank balance after the festivities. But free items can sometimes be a scam.

These typically come in the form of “bait and switch” fraud. Cybercriminals dangle expensive items in front of your eyes, and ask you to enter a draw where a number of lucky participants win, for example, a new iPhone.

To be in with a chance of winning, you need to enter a few personal details and fill out a survey. Scammers can use this to collect sensitive data or benefit from a pay-per-click scheme.

Never enter private details on sites you don’t trust.

Only use sites you’ve used before or that have been personally recommended to you by family or friends.

You rely on certain companies throughout the rest of the year. It’s churlish not to use them again in the run-up to Christmas. However, we can be tempted away if a more obscure site offers something unique and/or limited.

This doesn’t mean you can’t use smaller names, but shop around. Businesses with exclusive products might sell stock through eBay, Etsy, or as a third-party seller on Amazon.

Don’t become paranoid about this. Most sites are honest and only want to give you a good service. Just remember to check for signs of encryption (like an SSL certificate) and pay using a credit card and/or PayPal.

Bricks-and-mortar stores may also use the “bait and switch” method.

Instead of collating private information, they advertise a product that’s out of stock. They then console you by offering an inferior product; sometimes, however, they show you a more expensive item. Either way, they used an unavailable product to tempt you into shopping there.

2. Beware Cards Bearing “Gifts”

Similarly, you might enter a lucky dip to win a loaded gift card from a major online shop or supermarket. If you’re lucky, it could help buy the Christmas turkey and all the trimmings. And it’s worth clicking on a link if a friend recommended it to you, right?

But cybercriminals use services like WhatsApp to promote giveaways, generally as a supposed campaign to coincide with new stores opening. They then ask you to click on a link which requires some brief contact details. You won’t suspect anything because the message purports to be from a friend.

It’s fake. Your personal details will be collected, and your device could be infected with malware. It could also tap your address book to spread the scam to your contacts.

Even if you think it’s genuine, do your research. Type “Black Friday Walmart gift card scam” into Google and endless results will pop up.

Be immediately suspicious of any non-personalized messages. Confirm with your friend whether they sent it or not through another method.

If this dubious message came through as an email, ask by SMS. If you think their instant messaging is compromised, ask them in person or phone them.

Don’t trust links—period. Because the email promising amazing deals could be malicious.

Spotting a fraudulent email isn’t difficult, but can take some time. Rather than click links, instead delete emails and find the site yourself. Open another window and search.

Amazon lists many of its Black Friday deals on its homepage in advance so you can easily find the same bargains as those advertised in your email. Or not, as the case may be!

3. Fake Facebook Pages

Taking a photo on an iPhone for Christmas

A related scam has been perpetuated on social media for years, attempting to get more “likes” and shares. Facebook’s algorithm favors posts with the most interactions so the scam reaches a wider audience.

This is known as “like” farming.

Scammers promise free MacBooks, gift cards, and other Black Friday discounts. But once the message has reached enough profiles, the page or post changes, perhaps to a different product they can get serious cash from through a pay-per-click scheme.

Creators could sell the page and the information it’s collected too. Even Personally Identifiable Information (PII) like your address and birthday, can easily be sold on the Dark Web.

Fake pages could pose a further threat to passwords, usernames, and credit card information which may be stored for associated apps.

4. Delivery and Transaction Problems

If you’ve bought many gifts from numerous different retailers, it can be tricky to keep track of your orders. Simply buying from Amazon might actually be through third party sellers.

Following Black Friday and Cyber Monday, a well-known firm might email to tell you about a problem delivering a package. All you need to do is click on a link and arrange a good time.

Let’s reiterate: however authentic a message and its accompanying link appear, do not trust it.

An email might pretend to be FedEx, DHL, or UPS and ask you to open an attachment. Don’t download anything. You could be downloading ransomware, or a virus that tracks your activities.

A variation of this is a fraudulent email informing you that a company couldn’t deliver a package you sent, so you need to rearrange delivery or pay extra. Spoof emails might include order confirmations, refunds, and reminders about what’s on your Amazon Wishlist.

You could also receive an SMS asking you to click on a link to reschedule a failed parcel delivery or request a refund.

This is why it’s so important to keep track of your transactions. Don’t rely on orders filed under “My Account”. Keep physical records of invoices or order confirmations.

If a dispute arises, you’ve got all the details you need—and it’s reassuring when you open your bank statement in January!

Some services use different trading names for debiting accounts. If you can find them out, note down that additional name on corresponding paperwork. PayPal, for instance, tells you clients’ trading names which will be credited on your statements. And remember that Amazon often displays as “INT’L” followed by a lengthy number.

Keep note of payments made in December, and you can cross-reference them at a later date.

5. You Don’t Receive Purchases

Black Friday scammers pretend to send your puchases

What if you’ve ordered something and it’s not arrived?

It could be genuine. Hundreds of items get lost in the post and through private couriers, especially around Christmastime. Sadly, it could also be something more malicious.

Either way, you need to contact the seller. They should have proof of postage. Citizens’ rights typically say that you don’t pay for anything you’ve not received.

The final responsibility lies with the retailer. So, if something doesn’t turn up, you shouldn’t be charged.

Scammers might insist you wait; it’s a simple delaying tactic. Go to the hosting site. If it’s a third-party seller through Amazon, you need to talk to Amazon itself. The same goes for auction sites.

The best way to prevent this is by paying through verified methods with money-back guarantees.

PayPal offers a Buyer Protection program. This reimburses you the item price plus postage fees if a product either doesn’t arrive or isn’t as described. Exceptions exist, but we doubt you’ll invest in real estate, ready for Christmas!

Credit card companies are jointly liable with the trader if there’s a problem with the product, so you’ve got an added safety net. You can generally rely on “chargeback”, although individual companies have their own terms and conditions, so make sure you check these before using a credit card.

Be understanding, but remember: by law, you should be offered a refund or replacement.

6. Check Returns Policies

In most cases, you have the right to take back items within 28 days of purchases. There are exceptions; nonetheless, that’s a good rule of thumb.

Around the festive period, many retailers—notably the bigger, reputable brands—expand their returns policies and offer gift receipts. However, not all do. Amazon extends its policy, so anything bought through them between November 1 and December 31 can be returned until midnight January 31.

It doesn’t include third parties, though. And this is the key thing about returns policies: you need to check individual retailers because specifics change.

You particularly need to be careful around auction sites. In some cases, sellers will include a shorter return period; others insist you pay for sending stuff back yourself.

Most worryingly, some don’t accept returns at all. If you get an item that’s fake, damaged, or simply unwanted, you can’t do much about it. However, we advise you report counterfeit goods to parent companies, like eBay.

The key here is to know your rights—before purchasing!

7. Dubious Pricing Strategies

Walking past cafes and shops at Christmas while it snows

This isn’t a tactic employed by cybercriminals, but it’s nevertheless infuriating. It’s a sales technique used by most retailers.

Stores display an RRP or high-end price point, but advertise a sale price. It looks like you’re getting a fantastic discount, solely for this limited time. After that, the price shoots back up… right?

Sadly, these offers aren’t always what they appear. They’re bumping the price up for effect, then lowering it again.

You’ll probably save a fair amount of cash in relation to the RRP. But it’s still an example of retailers forcing a purchase when a similar (or better) discount has been available during the year.

Amazon Wishlists track price points in relation to when you added them, not in accordance to average cost. You can’t filter them to show the biggest price-drops, either.

You can save serious money by doing your Christmas shopping early, so why not set alerts for specific products? Festive items will likely be cheapest in the middle of summer, which doesn’t help you right now, but may next year.

That method’s not for everyone though. Instead, use price trackers like CamelCamelCamel to check whether a deal is really as good as it looks.

Don’t Get Carried Away This Christmas

The bottom line is, don’t panic. Adrenaline pumps harder through our bodies when we spot a bargain. This is especially the case if there’s a limited quantity, or, as with auction sites, a countdown. Amazon uses both tactics in its flash deals.

Remember: If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

Keeping a cool head means you won’t blow your budget, making Christmas all the merrier!

Read the full article: 7 Scams to Watch Out for on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

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Black Friday and Cyber Monday: A Gamer’s Complete Guide

black-friday-cyber-monday

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are big sale days for gamers. Whether you’re looking for hardware or software you should be able to find something to buy for the coming holiday season. If there are any games or consoles you want to buy, this month is the time to do it.

Whether you’re buying for yourself or making Christmas purchases for others, here’s everything gamers need to know to get the most out of the big post-Thanksgiving sales.

What Are Black Friday and Cyber Monday?

blackfriday-not-amazon-

Black Friday is the name of the infamous Friday following America’s Thanksgiving celebration. It marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. As such, tons of products are steeply discounted.

This makes Black Friday the best time of year to shop for anything that you don’t want to pay full price for.

In 2018, Black Friday takes place on November 23.

Cyber Monday is the Monday immediately following Black Friday, a time when online retailers noted that their sales sharply increased. As the name suggests, this is the day for online sales, and is a more relaxed alternative to Black Friday. Since you don’t have to go into a store and compete with physical crowds, it’s less intense.

In 2018, Cyber Monday takes place on November 26.

Which day you focus on depends on where you want to do your shopping. Black Friday sales take place at physical stores as well as online, with sales for just about everything.

Cyber Monday is strictly online-only, meaning sites like Amazon or Newegg are your destinations. Usually, Steam and console digital markets have sales around this time too.

What Can You Get in These Sales?

The appeal of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales is that almost every retailer participates. This means the variety of items you can find is staggering.

But what does that mean for you as a gamer? What should you look for after Thanksgiving?

PCs and PC Parts

Newegg Black November

If you’re looking to build your own PC, then Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday can help you save money. Amazon, Newegg, and various other retailers will certainly have deals on PC components.

It’s wise to have a shopping list. Know ahead of time which components you want to buy to save you from buying junk parts with steep discounts. And keep common PC building mistakes in mind to avoid making blunders.

If you want to buy a ready-made PC, keep an eye out for discounts on major brands. For comparison, try shopping directly on the manufacturers’ websites and see if they offer extra deals.

Game Consoles and Bundles

Consoles are usually a big-ticket item for gamers. If you’re in the market for one, you should know what’s available right now.

Thinking about an Xbox? The Xbox One S, which is capable of 4K video playback but not 4K games, is the cheaper option. Microsoft’s more powerful Xbox One X, released in 2016, is much more powerful and thus capable of 4K gaming. We’ve compared the Xbox One models if you need help deciding between them.

If you’re interested in a PS4, you can pick between the PS4 Slim and PS4 Pro. The Slim is the standard console without any 4K support, while the Pro is beefier and capable of 4K gaming.

Nintendo’s newest system, the Nintendo Switch, will likely be on sale too. Nintendo isn’t known for steep discounts, so if you see a Switch bundle that includes a game you want, snap it up while you can.

The only current handheld system is the Nintendo 3DS (and 2DS). It’s a bit long in the tooth now, but still has a fantastic library and is a great choice for kids. Check out our 3DS model breakdown for more info.

In general, bundles are a good buy. Assuming you don’t already have the game in a console bundle, it likely offers a better value than the console itself. They also make especially nice gifts, as the recipient can immediately put the console to use.

An extra controller is fantastic, as they don’t depreciate in value as quickly as games.

Games

Image Credit: ericbvd/Depositphotos

Individual games are easy to pick up on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This is a great chance to score deep discounts on games.

Both the PlayStation Store and Xbox Market have pages up detailing Black Friday sales. If you don’t mind digital games, you can do your Black Friday game shopping directly from your console. Nintendo’s eShop doesn’t indicate a Black Friday sale, but you’ll presumably find some deals for the Switch and 3DS there.

Steam sales are justifiably famous for generous deals and bundles during the many seasonal events. The distributor gets in on Black Friday, of course, so wait to buy PC games on your wishlist until the sale goes live.

Other than Steam, EA’s Origin and GOG typically participate in Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales as well. One of the advantages of buying games via these platforms is that you’re not competing with others for stock. Thus, you can buy throughout the day without having to worry that they’ve run out.

Gaming Accessories

One of the best ways to take advantage of the Black Friday discounts is to buy gaming accessories or merchandise. These are usually not essential, so you may be more apt to buy them when they’re under full price.

Now is a great time for you to upgrade or pick up new headphones, mice, controllers, and charging docks. If you have a gamer in your life and want to buy something for them, accessories are a good pick. Check out our list of essential PC gaming accessories for some ideas.

Track Black Friday Ads

Black Friday Deals Site

Most retailers show their Black Friday ads ahead of time. These let you to see what will be available and decide whether it’s worth braving the stores. Many of these are large enough to be their own catalogs, so take a good look.

You can use sites like BFAds to find all the flyers released or leaked to the public. Most of these services have email newsletters so you can get updates right away.

Ads for Cyber Monday aren’t as closely monitored as Black Friday deals. However, several websites have pages announcing their Cyber Monday sales. In order to keep abreast of those sales, consider either bookmarking those pages or signing up for email alerts from the sites you plan to buy from. You can always unsubscribe later.

Black Friday Tips to Keep In Mind

Now you know what to look for as a gamer on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. But don’t get too carried away.

Be sure to keep an eye on your budget, because low prices can lure you into buying more than you originally intended. Don’t buy games you otherwise wouldn’t be interested in just because they’re on sale. Likewise, a PC component that seems like a tempting bargain might not be worth its price.

Remember that not every price drop is a bargain. Some prices are marked up ahead of Black Friday and then “marked down” again. Use a price comparison tool to make sure you’re actually getting a bargain.

Finally, make sure to conduct your transactions as safely as possible. Review our ways to protect yourself against Black Friday scams; it might be worth using gift cards to buy digital games if you’re concerned about security or overspending.

Read the full article: Black Friday and Cyber Monday: A Gamer’s Complete Guide

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Celebrate Cyber Monday With a Firefox Download-A-Thon

Today is November 27th. Which means it’s Cyber Monday. Thanksgiving is over, Black Friday has been and gone, and now it’s time for online retailers to drop their prices in order to dump their old stock. You could spend the day shopping online, but Mozilla is offering a tempting alternative. Experience The Firefox Download-A-Thon! Mozilla is celebrating Cyber Monday 2017 with what it has labelled The Firefox Download-A-Thon. This fun, tongue-in-cheek event is taking place today (11/27), so if you’re reading this any day after that you’ll be stuck watching the replay. Which won’t be half as much fun. As…

Read the full article: Celebrate Cyber Monday With a Firefox Download-A-Thon

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Celebrate Cyber Monday With a Firefox Download-A-Thon

Today is November 27th. Which means it’s Cyber Monday. Thanksgiving is over, Black Friday has been and gone, and now it’s time for online retailers to drop their prices in order to dump their old stock. You could spend the day shopping online, but Mozilla is offering a tempting alternative. Experience The Firefox Download-A-Thon! Mozilla is celebrating Cyber Monday 2017 with what it has labelled The Firefox Download-A-Thon. This fun, tongue-in-cheek event is taking place today (11/27), so if you’re reading this any day after that you’ll be stuck watching the replay. Which won’t be half as much fun. As…

Read the full article: Celebrate Cyber Monday With a Firefox Download-A-Thon

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Celebrate Cyber Monday With a Firefox Download-A-Thon

Today is November 27th. Which means it’s Cyber Monday. Thanksgiving is over, Black Friday has been and gone, and now it’s time for online retailers to drop their prices in order to dump their old stock. You could spend the day shopping online, but Mozilla is offering a tempting alternative. Experience The Firefox Download-A-Thon! Mozilla is celebrating Cyber Monday 2017 with what it has labelled The Firefox Download-A-Thon. This fun, tongue-in-cheek event is taking place today (11/27), so if you’re reading this any day after that you’ll be stuck watching the replay. Which won’t be half as much fun. As…

Read the full article: Celebrate Cyber Monday With a Firefox Download-A-Thon

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