BBB warns of scammers on Prime Day

Amazon Prime Day unrolls discounts

The event will happen this week.

Amazon’s annual Prime Day sales event takes place this week, and many other retailers are also running competing sales.

However, as shoppers gear up for discounts, officials are warning consumers to watch for scams.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) urges shoppers to be careful and make sure an exciting shopping time doesn’t lead to falling victim to phishing scams, misleading advertisements or lookalike websites.

The BBB has the following tips for online shoppers:

  • Email phishing attempts that appear to come from popular retailers. The BBB says phishing attempts increase during busy shopping times, like over Prime Day or Black Friday. Shoppers should also track all purchases, where it’s from and tracking numbers.
  • Look out for unsolicited emails, texts and phone calls. The BBB says messages oftentimes claim that the recipients have a gift waiting or there is a problem with delivery and prompt victims to click on a link or give up personal information. Officials urge shoppers to know what they’ve opted into and out of before clicking any unknown links.
  • Watch for social media ads. The BBB says shoppers may come across lookalike websites that appear to belong to a trusted retailer but have a slightly different domain name. It’s important to make sure websites use the correct business name spelling, have legitimate contact information and customer service numbers. Also, the BBB urges customers to trust their gut when evaluating any deals and if it seems too good to be true, it probably isn’t real.
  • Beware of lookalike websites. Shoppers should always double-check the URL, watch for bad grammar and spelling, research the age of the domain, search for contact information and read online reviews before buying from anyone.
  • Professional pictures don’t make deals real. The BBB notes that pictures can be stolen from other websites so shoppers shouldn’t just believe what they see or trust anything because it looks real.
  • Make sure websites are secure. If it doesn’t have “https” in the URL, it’s not secure. Many have “http” but the extra “s” is important for websites.
  • Be careful when buying sought-after products. Officials warn that if something is sold out everywhere, scammers oftentimes try to trick shoppers by offering those products at low prices. Don’t get tempted by those seemingly great but fake deals.
  • Pay with a credit card. The BBB says it’s always best to buy things online using a credit card because if a deal turns out to be shady, consumers can contest the purchases through the credit card company. Officials also warn shoppers to be wary of retailers that urge shoppers to pay using digital wallet apps, prepaid money cards or other non-traditional payment methods.
  • After buying, stay alert for scams. Watch out for any post-Prime Day offers that could be scams.

For more information from the BBB or to report a scam, click here.