Online shopping exploded on Amazon during the pandemic and that trend is likely to continue during the start of “Amazon Prime Days” this week, but be warned, some of the deals you see online may simply be too good to be true.
Prime Days always bring scams and counterfeits. NBC4 I-Team consumer investigator Randy Mac has tips on how to avoid both.
Amazon and all online retailers work to keep counterfeit goods off their platforms, but it’s kind of like fighting computer hackers It’s a 24/7 job and, no matter how hard you work, they seem to find new ways to use retailers to target consumers like you.
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Amazon does sell many of its own goods and those by name brand companies, but the majority of their listings are from “third-party sellers.”
While many of those merchants are very reputable, some are peddling fake merchandise or advertising amazing deals on something you may want or need, but will result in you getting scammed.
You could end up sending your cash to a fraudster overseas, where you will have little ability to dispute the purchase.
But if you are planning to take advantage of Prime Day deals, here’s some information to avoid getting scammed.
- First, only “click” on the Amazon Prime box — that will limit your exposure online to phony or scam ads.
- Avoid clicking on products with “no reviews.” Just about every item for sale will have reviews good or bad, if there are none, consider that your warning.
- Don’t just research the product, research the seller. Google their name along with the word "scam" and see what the search could reveal about prior complaints about the product and the company selling it.
- If there is odd spelling, poor descriptions or bad grammar, that’s another warning sign you could be dealing with a fraudster from overseas.
- Lastly, if the price just seems too good to be true, it probably is. Do some comparison shopping for the same item and if there is a vast difference, you could be dealing with a seller that’s not legit.
If you do plan on shopping during Prime Days, remember to make any purchase on your credit card. That way, if you don’t receive what you ordered or get nothing at all for your purchase, you still have a way to dispute it and get your money back.