- Amazon parades 48 hours of offers for Prime Day 2019, but experts say that all Internet traffic will also attract scammers looking to steal information from buyers.
- Consumers looking for a bargain should check if the emails they allegedly received from Amazon come from the retailer.
- Buyers should consider the use of two-factor authentication and virtual private networks to ensure that their information is encrypted and secure.
Amazon Prime Day began Monday morning with 48 hours of offers for tens of millions of consumers who are members of Amazon Prime, but experts in cybersecurity say that the increase in Internet traffic will also attract scammers looking to steal your details and details of the payment card.
"Consumers should proceed with caution," said Monique Becenti, product and channel specialist at SiteLock, in a statement. "A marked discount on shopping vacations means there is a great opportunity for cybercriminals to try to steal information."
Buyers should consider adding additional security, such as two-factor authentication and virtual private networks, which makes it harder for scammers to steal your data. Scammers often auction off personal information to criminals on the dark web. In the wrong hands, the information can be used by hackers to access other logins, such as bank accounts, which increases the risk of asset theft and identity theft.
Here are four scams that buyers should watch for this year's Freedom Day, July 15 and 16:
Buyers must access Amazon.com directly from their browser, rather than through an email or a link, experts say. This is because fraudulent links can redirect consumers to websites designed to look like Amazon, but they are actually fake and are set up to steal your credit card information. If you encounter a fake Amazon site, you can report it to the Federal Trade Commission.
"If something does not look good, it's probably not right," said Becenti of SiteLock.
Buyers who use two-factor authentication on Amazon (which can be activated here) will be asked for their details before continuing on the site. If they do not receive the usual notice, it is a warning that the site is not authentic.
Malicious coupon code redirects
Amazon offers coupons on Prime Day, which means that some scammers will copy this technique in the hope that buyers will click on their fake discount offers. Beware of emails that include coupons that promise big discounts on Prime Day, since those coupons can redirect buyers to a fake site. Once the buyer tries to complete a fake purchase, the scammers can collect a treasure trove of personal information.
Gift card scams
Another common scam involves Amazon gift cards. Scammers often contact victims by phone to convince them that they owe a debt, and then ask them to buy Amazon gift cards online or at a nearby pharmacy. The scammers will demand that the victim provide the claim code on the gift card and then it will disappear.
Email phishing marketing campaigns
Buyers should be on alert for fraudulent emails. Scammers will create emails that claim to be from Amazon or another trusted site, but that ask consumers to disclose their Social Security numbers, tax IDs, or bank account numbers. However, Amazon will never request such confidential data by email.
Fortunately, there is a quick solution. Always check the source of the email for the email address @ amazon.com. If the email address comes from any other sender, it must be dialed and immediately reported to the FTC.