Amazon’s Prime Day is a favorite time of the year for Amazon customers, especially the 153 million customers who have Prime membership. But Amazon customers are not the only ones who look forward to Prime Day. The scale of the event also attracts scammers looking to have a field day conning unsuspecting Amazon shoppers out of sensitive, personal, or payment information.
Common Scams on Amazon Prime Day
Most scams that happen on Prime Day take on one or more of the following forms:
This type of scam is based on typosquatting. Here, scammers create replicas of the real Amazon website. Everything looks and feels the same, from the user interface to the logo. But there are two catches: one, the website address is different, and you may suspect something is amiss when you log in.
The spelling of the fake website address will look like the real www.amazon.com at a quick glance. But it’s not. A double check will show a missing letter, extra letters, or special characters between the letters of the web address.
Most people land on these websites when they mistype the address name. Most fake websites will display a look-alike user dashboard when users attempt to log in. But, of course, the site will collect the user’s real login details and, later, their card details when they attempt to check out.
Phishing Texts or Emails
Phishing texts and emails are more common than fake websites because it requires less effort on the scammer’s end. It also has the potential to reach many people at the same time. What’s more, with phishing messages, scammers don’t have to rely on the odds of a buyer misspelling the Amazon URL.
Scammers commonly send emails or texts containing promotional messages or inviting the recipient to claim some fictitious reward. Other times, the email or text is about some fictitious charge on the card linked to the customer’s account.
The goal is to get an unsuspecting customer to click a link in the message. Most times, clicking this link takes the customer to a fake website where they get prompts to provide personal data or credit card information.
Customer Support Scam Calls
Customer support scam calls are one of the most common types of scams that happen on Prime Day. Here, the scammer actually calls and claims to be an Amazon employee. Then, they offer to solve a fictitious problem for a small fee.
Other times, scammers claim the customer has been chosen to receive a reward in a lucky draw. Then, they encourage the person to provide their login information or bank details to claim the reward.
How to Avoid Amazon Prime Day Scams
Here are some tips to avoid getting scammed:
- Visit the Amazon website from your saved favorites or bookmarks instead of typing the address. This way, you avoid the possibility of landing on a fake look-alike site created by scammers.
- Watch out for emails or text messages that have an urgent tone to them. Amazon offers time-limited deals. However, if the deal seems too good to be true, you’re most likely right.
- Disregard threats or messages that require you to take action or risk losing your account otherwise. Instead, visit your Amazon account from your browser (not from a link in the mail). Any important message from Amazon will be on your account dashboard. We’ve shown how scammers use fake Amazon emails to steal money.
- Use multi-factor authentication to protect your Amazon account. This extra security wall prevents scammers from accessing your account even if they got your login details some other way.
Scams Don’t End After Prime Day; Watch Out
Indeed, Prime Day is an opportunity for scammers to double down on defrauding unsuspecting customers. But scammers don’t have off-days. Scams continue, even after Prime Day. However, the tips we’ve discussed in this article are still relevant and can help you avoid getting scammed while shopping online.