INDIANAPOLIS — As many shoppers hit their phones and computers looking for deals on Amazon Prime Day (June 21-22), the Better Business Bureau is warning consumers about scammers who want to capitalize on the buzz.
Phishing scams, misleading advertisements, and lookalike websites are among the biggest concerns, according to the BBB.
Here’s what to look for:
Phishing scams: In this scam, the scammers pose as a big name store and send you emails, texts or phone calls. According to the BBB, these messages 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 claims to be Amazon calling to fix an issue with your account. This is just an attempt get your credit card information, account login details, or remote access to your computer, according to the BBB.
Phony websites: Fraudsters often create lookalike websites that, at first glance, look like they belong to a trusted retailer. But when you look more closely at the URL, you’ll noticed that the domain name is slightly different For example, instead of Popularstore.com, the URL might be PopvlarStore.com or PopularStoreOnline.com.
The Better Business Bureau says you should always make sure websites use the correct spelling of a business name and have legitimate customer service numbers. Also, use common sense when assessing deals. If a company claims to be selling the hottest item of the year at a super low price, it’s probably a scam, according to the BBB.
Tips to avoid online shopping scams this Prime Day:
- Beware of fake lookalike websites: The BBB says 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 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 money cards, or other non-traditional payment methods.