As many consumers gear up for Prime Day this year, Amazon (a BBB Accredited Company) isn’t the only retailer offering discounts on July 12-13, 2022. Walmart, Target, Kohl’s and many other companies manage their own sales. . BBB reminds shoppers to be extra careful when shopping online, not just on July 12 and 13, but anytime you shop online.
“Keep in mind that scammers are expecting an influx of online shoppers this Prime Day,” said Mechele Agbayani Mills, president and CEO of BBB Central East Texas. “So be well informed about their tactics and think before you click.”
BBB warns consumers to be on the lookout for the following:
Phishing scams that appear to be from a popular retailer. Phishing scams increase during busy shopping times, like Prime Day or Black Friday. When you’re shopping a lot, it’s easy to lose track of exactly what you bought and where you bought it. This makes you more likely to fall for a phishing scam posing as a well-known store.
Unsolicited emails, text messages or phone calls. These messages may claim that a free gift is waiting for you or that there is a problem with a delivery – all you have to do is click on a link or give your personal information. A recent phishing scam claims to be that Amazon is calling to resolve a problem with your account. This trick is intended to obtain your credit card information, account login information or remote access to your computer.
False advertising and bogus websites. When searching online or browsing social media, watch out for advertisements that link to scam websites. Scammers often create similar websites that, at first glance, appear to belong to a trusted retailer. But when you take a closer look at the URL, you’ll notice that the domain name is slightly different (for example, instead of Popularstore.com, the URL might be PopvlarStore.com or PopularStoreOnline.com).
Always make sure websites use the correct spelling of the business name and have legitimate contact details and customer service numbers. Also, use common sense when evaluating offers. If a company claims to sell the hottest item of the year at a very low price, it’s probably a scam.
Tips to avoid online shopping scams this Prime Day:
Beware of similar fake websites: check the URL, watch for grammar mistakes, research the age of the domain, look up contact information, and read online reviews.
Professional photos do not mean this is a real offer. Scammers often steal photos from 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 padlock icon on the address bar. Never enter payment or personal information on a website with only “HTTP”. It is NOT secure.
Be careful buying wanted products. If something is sold out everywhere, don’t be tempted by a seemingly exceptional offer. Scammers often deceive buyers by offering the most popular products at low prices.
Pay with a credit card. It’s always best to shop online with your credit card. If questionable charges appear later, you can dispute them with your credit card company. Beware of any retailer who asks you to pay through digital wallet apps, prepaid cards, or other non-traditional payment methods.
For more information
Learn more about how to avoid scam social media ads when shopping online. Check out the tracking code tricks from scammers.
For more advice, read BBB’s advice on online shopping. If you spotted an online scam, report it to BBB ScamTracker. Subscribe to BBB Scam Alerts for weekly updates on new scams.
BBB is a business-supported non-profit organization that sets and maintains high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Most of BBB’s consumer services are free. BBB Serving Central East Texas was founded in 1985 and serves 19 counties.