Black Friday bargain hunters urged to be vigilant

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Security experts have advised consumers to be cautious when shopping for online Black Friday bargains.

The CEO of IT services firm security solutions firm, ESET Southern Africa, Carey van Vlaanderen, says while the promise of a bargain is enticing to consumers, cyber-criminals also take advantage of unsuspecting shoppers.

Van Vlaanderen has urged bargain hunters to be vigilant

Van Vlaanderen says, “The top 4 we see are phishing emails, WhatsApp and social media and also what we call tickets to nowhere, where in fact you are paying your money and of course when you go to either the game or to collect your tickets, it’s not valid. Wherever possible never click on a link in an email because often that is a malicious link and it takes you to a malicious site.”

“Similarly in WhatsApp scams, they will embed a link into either a WhatsApp chat or group and finally there is the social media scam. Again, what these guys do is offer an amazing deal where in fact it’s fake and you get absolutely nothing back.”

Consumers face higher payments on debt following another rate hike:

Meanwhile, consumers are also warned to further tighten their belts, as the Reserve Bank increases rates to 75 basis points.

The Reserve Bank has also lowered its economic growth expectations for the country this year from 1.9% to 1.8%.

The Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago says growth for the fourth quarter is also expected to be depressed largely due to the effects of Eskom’s rolling blackouts.

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The bank’s Monetary Policy Committee’s decision takes the repo rate to 7% and the prime lending rate to 10.5 percent.

Kganyago says the MPC considered a number of factors to arrive at its conclusion.

“The forecast takes into account, lower commodity prices, higher inflation and interest rates. In the supply side, the forecast incorporates an assumption of increased rolling blackouts which could deduct 0,6% from GDP in 2023. As a result of these forecasts, the economy is forecast to expand by 1.1% in 2023.”