The BBB is warning people to watch out for scams online, especially now that Prime Day is here. While Amazon has its big celebration of deals and savings, scammers are looking to cash in on the rush. Everything from phishing attempts to scam websites could be looking to part you from your hard-earned cash.
Scammers are tricky, so make sure you’re armed with knowledge. Here are the top things to look out for when you’re shopping online this Prime Day.
Make sure the website you’re on is the real deal. Don’t fall for the classic scam of the false webpage. Scammers will go above and beyond to recreate an official-looking webpage, complete with entry fields for your credit card information. Before you input any info, double-check the address bar to verify that the site you’re on is the real thing. Irregularities in the address bar, like a misspelled website name or a slightly different name than you’re used to seeing, could indicate a scam.
These fake websites are usually reached through faked email promotions. Since you’re unlikely to navigate to a fake site through a search engine or web browser address bar, scammers will send you links to these fake sites in the form of promotional emails. Often, they hook you with promises of great deals. That’s why these scams work so well on Prime Day: the absurd deals they’re promising can look legitimate when Amazon is already offering steep discounts.
Be wary of any of these unsolicited promotions. Things like “deals” emails in your inbox, unsolicited texts claiming to be from major retailers, and even phone calls asking you to verify your payment credentials can all be scams. Make sure you’re never giving out your personal information over email, over text, or on the phone.
Be especially wary of sales on items that you know are hard to find. If you see an entry for an Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5, for instance, scrutinize the webpage carefully and do a bit of research. Out-of-stock items are a common “hook” that scammers use to phish for your personal information.
When in doubt, make sure you use a credit card to buy items online. Sites that ask you to pay with prepaid cards or online wallets are generally sketchy. Scammers hate when you pay with credit cards, because you can contest charges with your credit card company if a con artist rips you off.
Stay safe online and enjoy your Prime Day shopping!