Why scammers are excited about Amazon Prime Day

ByHeather Grubola WPVI logo
Tuesday, October 13, 2020
Why scammers are excited about Amazon Prime Day
With big deals come big opportunities for scammers. Here's what to watch out for on Amazon Prime Day.

Amazon Prime Day is now in full swing. It's normally held in July but due to the Coronavirus pandemic, it was pushed back to October 13th and 14th.

Other retailers are also holding big sales to compete. Those events include Walmart's Big Save event, Target's Deal Days, and Best Buy's Black Friday Prices.

The National Retail Federation's new consumer education campaign, "New Holiday Traditions," encourages consumers to start shopping early and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention classified "shopping at crowded stores just before, on or after Thanksgiving" on a list of higher-risk activities to avoid to help prevent the spread of the virus.

But with more sales and early shopping pushes come more scams.

Rob D'Ovidio of the Cyber Crime and Forensics Institute at Drexel University says, "Recognize that the criminals certainly smell blood in the water. They know that we're out there looking for the best deal possible and that's what they try to take advantage of. They try to offer us a deal to get us to click on that link that they're sending us via email, via text message. At times, they're calling us on the phone even. And using that as the way to get us to do something that makes us vulnerable. The end goal here is getting access to your personal identifying information."

Many fraudsters are now impersonating Amazon. In some cases, a recorded voice claims to be from Amazon and tells you there is a fraudulent charge on your Amazon Prime card.

In other cases, the recorded message will alert you to a so-called lost or damaged package. Some complaints earlier in 2020 reported that consumers received emails containing an order confirmation for an item they didn't purchase.

According to a new warning from the Better Business Bureau, they may also try to offer you a "refund" and ask you for your credit card account number or account login details.

So here's advice to avoid falling victim to a scam: Go to your orders within the Amazon app or website to check out what you've purchased. Amazon says, "See if there is an order that matches the details in the correspondence."

Also, be aware:

-Amazon will never ask you to make payment outside of its website or through a third party.

-Amazon will never ask you for remote access to your computer.

-Amazon will never ask you for sensitive personal information.

This advice also applies to other retailers. D'Ovidio says, "Just be cognizant that the scam might not be about Amazon and Prime Day. Other retailers have set up sales to compete with Amazon so scammers may also be targeting you with those brands."

Also, our partners at Consumer Reports have rounded up some of the best Prime Day deals and more.