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Retail giant Amazon is once again hosting its annual ‘Amazon Prime Day’, which attracts millions of Brits every year. It is Amazon’s biggest sale, where customers can take advantage of massive discounts and grab huge bargains.
With discounts running for two days ending tonight, Prime Day promises unbelievable deals on your favourite items, whether you are on the hunt for kitchenware, electricals or fashion items.
As with most sales, however, Prime Day attracts cyber criminals who want to take your hard-earned money. We see this with Black Friday and the Boxing Day sales – fraudsters look to take advantage of eager consumers who want to bag themselves a bargain.
In 2021, a staggering 2,300 fake Amazon websites were set up in the run up to Prime Day. Hackers wanted a piece of the £9.3 billion spent worldwide on this day. Luckily, cybersecurity experts NordVPN have provided us with the most common scams to look out for this Amazon Prime Day, and how to protect your cash.
You may have received a suspicious text message before, claiming you missed a delivery, even if you have not ordered anything. In the run up to Prime Day, hackers will use these messages as a method of getting their hands on your money.
The surge of online shopping in recent years as the result of covid-19 lockdowns has allowed scammers to refine their techniques further. In this scam, an email or text will be sent to the victim, providing an order number or a tracking link. Once this link is clicked, the hacker will ask for a payment to speed up delivery or claim you must pay a fee in order to receive your package.
This text or email could claim to be from Amazon or a courier such as Royal Mail, DPD or Hermes.
This scam works well as most people order items online frequently. It causes doubt in the mind of buyers, or many think nothing of clicking on the link, assuming it is legitimate and in relation to an actual package they have ordered.
Check through the Amazon website or app before clicking on any links. You can track your order officially this way, and make sure everything is on track. Amazon will never ask you for extra payments or fees after your item has been dispatched. Do not engage with the text or email, as it is likely to be a scam.
In all the excitement of getting amazing bargains, hackers will use the potential to win extra prizes or even money to lure you in. In this scam, you may receive a link or an email stating you have won a prize. “Click the link to claim now!” may seem like an instruction you are tempted to follow, but resist.
It is likely a scam. When you click on the link, your device may be infected with malware or viruses. Your credentials could be stolen, and your bank details could be accessed if your device is hacked.
Be aware that Amazon has not run any prize draws for many years. If you receive a message that seems too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t click on any links claiming you have won a prize – this is most certainly a scam.
You would be surprised at the lengths online hackers go to in order to steal your money. Replicas of the Amazon homepage are rife and can look identical to the real Amazon site. These are rife around Prime Day. If you try to buy something from these copycat websites, your bank details and personal information could be stolen.
Visit the official Amazon website by typing in the exact domain name into your search bar – Amazon.co.uk. Many of the fake websites are very hard to distinguish from the actual site, and it is scary. The best way to check you are on the real site is to check the domain name is correct.
The website you visit should start with https in the domain name instead of http. The ‘s’ is a small difference, but shows the website is secure. You should also see a small padlock next to the web address.
One of the most common ways hackers get your information is by sending fake texts and emails asking you to verify your identity or protect your account. This is a form of ‘phishing’ and will ask you to enter your log-in details.
Hackers may claim there has been an unrecognised log in attempt on your account and you need to enter your password to regain access to your account. If you do so, hackers will then have access to your account details and may buy items using your cards or even access your bank details and personal information.
If you receive a text or email of this nature, do not click on any links. Click on the sender’s name to see their email address – it will likely be a random email unrelated to Amazon. Log onto your account yourself and check for any security alerts.
The emails or texts you receive may also contain very slight grammar and spelling errors, so look closely. It is better to be safe than sorry, so even if you think the email is genuine, do not click the links.
There is nothing more exciting than receiving a gift card, and hackers know this. With e-gift cards being a popular present, they can easily trick people into buying online gift cards. To do this, they impersonate family members or friends and ask people to reveal their unique card numbers.
These gift cards will then be redeemed by the hackers at your expense. They may also claim the gift card is not available for long, and you must act quickly. This puts pressure on victims and therefore they are more likely to respond.
If you receive a message of this nature, verify with friends and family to see if it is legitimate. Speak to them in person or over the telephone to do this – do not respond to the email. Beware of any messages which pile on the pressure and urge you to act quickly.
So, if you are thinking of bagging a bargain this Amazon Prime Day, make sure you know what to look out for to protect your personal information and your money!