Excitement behind Amazon Prime Day makes shoppers ripe for scams

13 July 2022

Amazon Prime Day is July 12 and 13. It’s a chance to score some good deals, but it’s also an opportunity for scammers.

Pete Nicoletti, Chief Information Security Officer with cyber security firm Check Point, tells 5 On Your Side scammers are stepping up their attacks which means you have to be even more careful to protect your information.

On Tuesday, a woman from Fayetteville emailed 5 On Your Side with a picture of a phishing text she got with an urgent warning that her Amazon account was about to be disabled.

Nicoletti says scammers are using this sense of urgency and well-disguised emails and websites to steal your personal information.

“We’re seeing a 40 percent up-tick, week over week, in phishing. And we’re seeing over 2,000 fake domains being registered in the past week,” Nicoletti told us.

He added that phishing emails account for about 85 percent of the Prime Day related scams, with hundreds of millions of them sent.

“They’ll get just hundreds of people clicking on them,” Nicoletti says, “and that’s all they’ll need for their campaign to be successful.”

If they get your information, it won’t take long for them to use your password against you.

“Within minutes of that harvested credential, an affiliate is going to be attempting to log into 200 different websites that might have used those credentials,” Nicoletti warns.

His biggest piece of advice is not to trust the email that’s coming in.

“Just delete the email. And if you do have something that you’re expecting from Amazon, go ahead and log into Amazon,” he says.

Check Point shared some of the other types of Prime Day phishing scams to watch out for and ways to protect yourself:

  • Don’t click on emails about “package delivery status” or “we owe you a credit” or some other “urgent” problem.
  • Use multi-factor authentication if you aren’t already.
  • Set up your accounts to notify you of changes and follow up if you see an alert.
  • Do not reuse passwords, have a different password for each account.
  • Make sure your computer is secure, and updated.

Additional warnings and information from the Better Business Bureau:

  • Make sure websites have a url that includes https, the “s” stands for secure and if it doesn’t have the “s” it’s a big red flag.
  • Look for grammatical errors, that’s an indicator of a scam site or message.
  • Make purchases with a credit card for greater fraud protections.
  • If you are on a computer, hover over a link before you click on it to see the destination url.

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