As Amazon Prime Day Approaches, Watch Out for Phishing Scams, Phony Websites and More

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Amazon Prime Day is on the horizon, with discounts and deals for consumers on July 12 and 13. But be cautious of phishing scams, misleading advertisements, and lookalike websites, the Better Business Bureau says.

According to the BBB, phishing scams increase during popular times like Amazon Prime Day, because of how easy it becomes to lose track of exactly what you bought.

“Look out for unsolicited emails, texts, or phone calls," Steve J. Bernas, president, and CEO of BBB of Chicago and Northern Illinois says. "These messages may claim you have a gift waiting for you or a problem with delivery – all you need to do is click on a link or give up your personal information."

According to Bernas, "one recent phishing con claims to be Amazon calling to fix an issue with your account. This ruse is meant to get your credit card information, account login details, or remote access to your computer.”

Here are a few tips to keep in mind from the BBB as you hunt for deals and discounts on Prime Day:

  • Beware of fake lookalike websites. Check the URL, watch for bad grammar, search for contact information, and read online reviews
  • Professional photos do not mean it’s a real offer. Scammers often steal photos off 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 into a website with only “HTTP.” It is NOT secure.
  • Be mindful when purchasing sought-after products. If something is sold out, don’t be tempted by a seemingly great deal. Scammers often trick shoppers by offering the most popular products at low prices.

Finally, the BBB highly advises using a credit card.

"It’s always best to make online purchases with your credit card. If any shady charges turn up later, you will be able to contest them through your credit card company," the BBB stated.

Even if you do not lose money, the BBB encourages you to still report scam attempts. If you suspect a scam, a good way to determine if something is legitimate is to use the BBB Scam Tracker.

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