Before You Buy This on Amazon, You Need to Check One Thing, Experts Warn
This may help prevent you from falling victim to a scam.
Amazon shoppers are just days away from the biggest deals they will see all year. The website's annual Prime Day will fall on June 21 and June 22 this year, earlier than ever before. The once-a-year savings event typically occurs in July and was postponed last year until October because of the pandemic. But Amazon Chief Financial Officer Brian Olsavsky said they bumped it to June this year, thinking it "might be better timing" for customers, sellers, and vendors. Shoppers are already clamoring to get their hands on discounts, some of which have already launched. But before you purchase any early Amazon Prime Day deals, you'll want to be on the lookout for scams. Read on to find out what you should check before shopping Prime Day early this year.
Before you buy any early Amazon Prime Day deals, you need to check the item's URL, which could indicate a scam.
Bolster Research released a warning on June 16, informing consumers that phishing attempts and scams for Amazon Prime Day are already in full force, trying to lure customers looking from legitimate deals into a scam. "Scammers are already preparing for the highly anticipated event," Bolster experts warn of Amazon Prime Day. According to the research agency, some fake sites are promoting "Early Prime Day Deals," which Amazon is legitimately doing. However, the URLs for these fake sites typically include extra characters. For instance, one of the phishing sites Bolster found contained amazon.com in the URL, but it was followed by a group of letters and numbers: "qqcn2.com."
According to Amazon, they will never link you to a website with a random string of numbers. "If the link takes you to a site that is not a legitimate amazon domain, then it is likely phishing," Amazon says on its website.
Amazon scams are much higher in the days leading up to Prime Day.
With consumers looking for deals, scammers are looking for an opportunity to take advantage. According to Bolster Research, there has already been an increase in Amazon Prime Day scams this year. During January through May of 2020, Bolster uncovered 394 fake Amazon sites. However, they've already seen 2,805 phishing sites during the same time this year, which is more than seven times higher than 2020's scam site count.
"If the pattern holds from 2020, there will be a huge increase in the volume of these sites in June as we get closer to Prime Day," the research firm said.
Other Amazon scams are making the rounds right now too.
Bolster noted that phishing websites are not the only way scammers will try to con Amazon users, however. The research firm also found sites that are asking shoppers to set up their Amazon Wallet, as one of the company's promotions during Prime Day is to sign up new Amazon members, which involves setting up your Amazon Wallet.
"This page asks users to set up their Amazon Wallet and enter their credit card information," Bolster explained. But it's just a way for scammers to get your credit card information.
You should be extra careful of scams before making your Amazon Prime Day purchases.
According to Bolster, scammers "rely on the shopping frenzy built by something like Prime Day, where shoppers are likely to let their guard down." Most scammers drive customers to fake sites through mass emails or search engine results.
But the research firm said there are steps you can take to ensure you shop safety during the annual event. The best way is to start shopping at the official Amazon webpage when searching for deals, which helps you avoid clicking on links from Google or your email that may send you to a fake website.
Also, experts say you should always avoid deals that are too good to be true. "Shopping does have an emotional aspect, and the thought of getting a great deal provides a lot of satisfaction. Scammers rely on this to hook unsuspecting shoppers and steal their money," the Bolster experts explain. "Do your research before Prime Day to have a sense of the price points for the products you want to buy."