Cybercriminals are exploiting shoppers looking for good deals, as Check Point Research (CPR) detected a significant increase in daily Amazon-related phishing attacks. In the first week of July, CPR observed a 37% rise in phishing attacks, exceeding the daily average for June. Additionally, 1,900 new domains containing the word “Amazon” were registered, with 9.5% identified as suspicious or malicious. In 2021, CPR discovered 2,303 new domains, of which 38% were classified as risky. The question is not whether hackers will get to you, but only when they will achieve this. You should be able to protect yourself from scams and cyberattacks.
H2 Main Types of Phishing
Beware of fake Amazon websites that often appear almost identical to the real site. These fraudulent pages, known as pharming sites, aim to deceive victims into believing they can safely make purchases and provide their payment information. Unfortunately, any purchases made on these fake Amazon websites will not be delivered once money is exchanged. To avoid falling victim, always verify the safety and authenticity of a website before making a purchase.
Another method scammers use is sending emails that claim your Amazon payment information needs updating or has expired, prompting you to update it. Lastly, be wary of order confirmation scams, where customers receive infected links via email or text messages, requesting verification of recent purchases.
H2 Gift Card Fraud
Scammers frequently employ various tactics to trick individuals into falling for Amazon gift card scams. These schemes often involve requesting an Amazon gift card as a form of payment, putting pressure on the victim to purchase the gift card, and providing the scammer with the card’s number. Let’s take a closer look at how these scams commonly begin:
- Urgent assistance: The scammer pretends to be a friend or family member in need of immediate help, specifically requesting an Amazon gift card.
- Tech support: Impersonating an Amazon tech support agent, the scammer convinces the victim that they must upgrade a plan or purchase a service using an Amazon gift card as payment.
- Survey reward: Scammers offer Amazon gift cards as incentives for individuals to fill out surveys, using this opportunity to collect sensitive personal information.
- Debt payment: Victims receive calls asserting that they have unpaid debts, such as tax penalties, and are urged to pay them off using Amazon gift cards.
How to Avoid Scams on Amazon Prime?
1. Don’t click on suspicious links
To verify information, check your order status, or update payment information, access your Amazon account directly. Additionally, confirm the authenticity of the email from Amazon by checking the email address.
2. Use a VPN
One effective strategy to protect against phishing, viruses, and personal information theft is to use Amazon Prime VPN. With a good VPN like VeePN, you can reduce most of the risks. Moreover, VeePN for Amazon Prime allows you to change your region and unblock region-restricted content. You can use the free trial version of the application and prevent phishing attacks, man-in-the-middle attacks, DDoS attacks, etc.
3. Fake domains
One of the most frequently used email phishing techniques is the utilization of a fake lookalike domain that mimics a legitimate company. For instance, instead of using the email address firstname.lastname@example.org, attackers might employ email@example.com, in hopes of deceiving inattentive users. Similarly, attackers could exploit firstname.lastname@example.org. Despite appearances, it is important to note that the domain used in these cases is not necessarily owned or associated with the targeted company.
4. Buy on the official website
Avoid clicking on links that redirect you to third-party websites. Always verify the URL before making a purchase or entering payment information. Exercise caution when dealing with third-party sellers on Amazon.
5. Use 2FA
Two-factor authentication (2FA) provides a safer and more secure login method. It also prevents scammers from accessing your account, even if they possess your login details due to a data breach.
6. Never provide personal information
On phone calls, Amazon will never request your personal information. If the caller gives you alarming details about unfamiliar orders, expired payment information, or suspicious activity, verify the claim directly in your Amazon account. It is also wise to make sure that no one intercepts your data within the Wi-Fi network. This is a common vulnerability in public Wi-Fi networks, but it can be easily fixed using a VPN extension. If you use a free browser extension, you can protect yourself from data theft. Before sending, the data will be encrypted and cannot be viewed without the key, which only you and the server have.
7. Check if the URL is genuine
To ensure authenticity, don’t assume that a website is legitimate just because it contains “Amazon” in the URL. To verify its legitimacy, check for a dot before “amazon.com”, like “aws.amazon.com”.
8. Avoid overly attractive offers
Exercise caution when encountering suspicious bargains, and verify the legitimacy of email addresses or web URLs. If uncertain, delete the email or text and refrain from clicking any links.
Very often, scammers either send fake links to the Amazon website or try to get gift cards from you. These are the two main types of hacking attacks related to Amazon Prime. However, this manual provides all the information you need to protect yourself. Check yourself, how to stay safe on Amazon Prime?