Beware of Prime Day Online Shopping Scams
TUCSON (KVOA) – This year, Amazon isn’t the only retailer offering discounts for Prime Day (June 21-22, 2021). Walmart, Target and Kohl’s, to name a few, have competing sales. But more deals mean more chances for scammers to capitalize on the buzz and shoppers of stuff, the Better Business Bureau said. Beware of phishing scams, deceptive ads, and similar websites.
Scams to watch out for:
Phishing scams that appear to come from a popular retailer. Phishing scams are on the rise during busy shopping times, like Prime Day or Black Friday. When you shop a lot, it’s easy to lose track of exactly what you bought and where you shopped. This makes you more likely to fall for a phishing scam masquerading as a department store.
Watch out for unsolicited emails, texts, or phone calls. These messages can pretend that a free gift is waiting for you or that there is a problem with the delivery – all you have to do is click on a link or give your personal information. Recent phishing scam claims to be Amazon is calling to resolve an issue with your account. This is a trick to get your credit card information, account login information, or remote access to your computer.
Beware of deceptive advertisements and bogus websites. When doing research online or browsing social media, watch out for advertisements that link to scam websites. Scammers often create similar websites that at first glance appear to be owned by a trusted retailer. But when you take a closer look at the URL, you will notice that the domain name is slightly different (i.e. instead of Popularstore.com the URL can be PopvlarStore.com or PopularStoreOnline.com ).
Always make sure that websites use the correct spelling of a business name and have legitimate contact details and customer service numbers. Also use common sense when evaluating offers. If a business claims to sell the hottest item of the year for a very low price, it’s probably a scam.
Tips for avoiding scams when shopping online this Prime Day:
- Beware of similar fake websites: Check the URL, watch for bad grammar, find the age of the domain, find contact information, and read reviews online.
- Professional photos do not mean this is a real offer. Scammers often steal photos from other websites, so don’t believe what you see.
- Make sure the website is secure. Look for the “https” in the URL (the extra “s” is for “secure”) and a small lock icon on the address bar. Never enter payment or personal information on a website with just “http”. It is NOT secure.
- Be careful when buying sought after products. If something is sold everywhere, don’t be tempted by a good deal. Scammers often trick buyers into offering the most popular products at low prices. Here is an example involving game consoles.
- Pay with a credit card. It’s always best to shop online with your credit card. If questionable charges appear later, you can dispute them through your credit card company. Beware of any retailer who asks you to pay by digital wallet apps, prepaid cards or other non-traditional payment methods.