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BBB ALERT! “Prime Day” Shopping Scams

This year, Amazon isn’t the only retailer rolling out discounts for Prime Day (June 21-22, 2021). Walmart, Target and Kohls, among others, are running competing sales. But more deals mean more chances for scammers to capitalize on the buzz and trick shoppers. BBB is warning that we will probably see phishing scams, misleading advertisements, and lookalike websites.

Here are some tricks to watch out for:

Phishing scams that appear to come from a popular retailer. Fake emailsphishing – during busy shopping times, such as Prime Day or Black Friday, are common. When you are making a lot of purchases, it’s easy to lose track of exactly what you bought and where you shopped. That makes you more likely to fall for a phishing scam posing as a big name store.

Look out for unsolicited emails, texts, or phone calls. They may claim you have a free gift waiting for you or that there is a problem with a delivery – all you need to do is click on a link or give up your personal information. One recent phishing scam we have seen in NW Ohio and SE Michigan starts with Amazon “calling to fix an issue with your account.” Nonsense!  This a trick meant to get your credit card information. Often the “Amazon” caller claims he needs remote access to your computer to correct a problem. Don’t let them in!

Beware of false advertising and phony websites. When searching online or browsing social media, watch out for ads that point to scam websites. Con artists often create lookalike websites that, at first glance, appear to belong to a trusted retailer. But look more closely at the URL and you’ll notice that the domain name is slightly different (i.e., Instead of Popularstore.com, the URL might be PopvlarStore.com or PopularStoreOnline.com). A store will not misspell its own name. Always make sure websites use the correct spelling of a business name and have legitimate contact information and customer service numbers. Also, if a company claims to be selling the hottest item of the year at a super low price, it’s probably a scam.

Protect yourself from Prime Day scams:

  • Beware of fake lookalike websites: Check the URL, watch for bad grammar, research the age of the domain, 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 careful purchasing sought-after products. If something is sold out everywhere, don’t be tempted by a seemingly great deal. Scammers often trick shoppers by offering the most popular products at too-good-to-be-true low prices.
  • Pay with 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. Be very wary of any retailer that asks you to pay by digital wallet apps, prepaid gift or money cards, wire pay (like Western Union or Money Gram) or other non-traditional payment methods. 

If in doubt, call BBB at (419) 531-3116 or 800-743-4222.

BBB ALERT! “Prime Day” Shopping Scams

This year, Amazon isn’t the only retailer rolling out discounts for Prime Day (June 21-22, 2021). Walmart, Target and Kohls, among others, are running competing sales. But more deals mean more chances for scammers to capitalize on the buzz and trick shoppers. BBB is warning that we will probably see phishing scams, misleading advertisements, and lookalike websites.

 

Here are some tricks to watch out for:

 

Phishing scams that appear to come from a popular retailer. Fake emailsphishing – during busy shopping times, such as Prime Day or Black Friday, are common. When you are making a lot of purchases, it’s easy to lose track of exactly what you bought and where you shopped. That makes you more likely to fall for a phishing scam posing as a big name store.

 

Look out for unsolicited emails, texts, or phone calls. They may claim you have a free gift waiting for you or that there is a problem with a delivery – all you need to do is click on a link or give up your personal information. One recent phishing scam we have seen in NW Ohio and SE Michigan starts with Amazon “calling to fix an issue with your account.” Nonsense!  This a trick meant to get your credit card information. Often the “Amazon” caller claims he needs remote access to your computer to correct a problem. Don’t let them in!

 

Beware of false advertising and phony websites. When searching online or browsing social media, watch out for ads that point to scam websites. Con artists often create lookalike websites that, at first glance, appear to belong to a trusted retailer. But look more closely at the URL and you’ll notice that the domain name is slightly different (i.e., Instead of Popularstore.com, the URL might be PopvlarStore.com or PopularStoreOnline.com). A store will not misspell its own name. Always make sure websites use the correct spelling of a business name and have legitimate contact information and customer service numbers. Also, if a company claims to be selling the hottest item of the year at a super low price, it’s probably a scam.

 

Protect yourself from Prime Day scams:

 

  • Beware of fake lookalike websites: Check the URL, watch for bad grammar, research the age of the domain, 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 careful purchasing sought-after products. If something is sold out everywhere, don’t be tempted by a seemingly great deal. Scammers often trick shoppers by offering the most popular products at too-good-to-be-true low prices.
  • Pay with 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. Be very wary of any retailer that asks you to pay by digital wallet apps, prepaid gift or money cards, wire pay (like Western Union or Money Gram) or other non-traditional payment methods. 

 

If in doubt, call BBB at (419) 531-3116 or 800-743-4222.

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