(WFXR) — Amazon Prime Day kicks off next week! For most people, this means 48 hours to do some serious summer shopping, but for others, it’s 48 hours to pull off some scams.
Prime Day — which falls on Tuesday, July 12 and Wednesday, July 13 this year — has become a premiere shopping event for Amazon, as well as other retailers that offer big sales at the same time.
However, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) fears that some people trying to take advantage of the countless Prime Day discounts floating around may unknowingly fall victim to a scam.
According to BBB Scam Tracker 2021 Risk Report, Amazon was the most impersonated organization in 2021, with online purchases reigning as the riskiest scams for consumers across all demographics.
With that in mind, the BBB shared a few red flags that every shopper should watch out for when scoping out Prime Day deals:
- Beware of phishing: Phishing emails — which ramp up during Prime Day season — can look like a message from Amazon or another retailer. Either way, clicking on unfamiliar or unsolicited links can put you at risk for malware and/or identity theft.
- 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 a legit offer: Scammers often steal photos off other websites, so don’t believe everything you see.
Meanwhile, Amazon says it will not ask customers to buy gift cards for any service; request payment via phone or email rather than on the Amazon app or website; call you to ask you to make a payment off of the Amazon website, like a bank transfer; or encourage you to download or install any software to connect with its customer service.
“Scammers that attempt to impersonate Amazon put our customers and our brand at risk. Although these scams take place outside our store, we will continue to invest in protecting customers and educating the public on scam avoidance,” an Amazon spokesperson told WFXR News. “We encourage customers to report suspected scams to us so that we can protect their accounts and refer bad actors to law enforcement to help keep consumers safe. Please visit our help pages to find additional information on how to identify scams and report them.”
The BBB Serving Western Virginia also offered some general shopping tips for consumers amid Prime Day season:
- Be a savvy shopper: When shopping online, take your time and read the fine print before submitting your order.
- Compare prices and products to one another.
- Look for the return policy before you buy. Even though many online orders can be returned for a full refund, others have restocking fees and some cannot be returned whatsoever.
- Shop with a credit card: In case of a fraudulent transaction, a credit card offers certain protections that you can’t get with a debit card, prepaid card, or gift card. In other words, by shopping with a credit card, it’s easier to dispute charges that you didn’t approve or to get your money back if there is a problem.
- Keep documentation of your order:
- Save a copy of the confirmation page or email confirmation until you receive the item and are satisfied with it.
- Keep the return policy documented with your purchase records.
- According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), when you shop online, sellers are supposed to ship your order within the time stated in their ads — or within 30 days if the ads don’t give a time — and if they fail to do so, they must give you a revised shipping date, as well as the chance to either cancel your order for a full refund or accept the new shipping date.
If you spot any suspicious activities or scams, you are encouraged to report them to the BBB Scam Tracker.