Amazon Prime Day - look out for these scams when shopping online

amazon prime day scams
(Image credit: (Image credit: Pixabay)

Bargain hunters have been warned to be on alert today as they shop for the best Amazon Prime Day deals.

With Amazon's mid-year sale extravaganza already in full swing, security firm McAfee has warned shoppers to be on alert for scams looking to take advantage of over-eager bargain hunters.

The firm is urging users to take extra care before clicking on adverts or links to deals that seem to good to be true, especially those shared on social media sites or in emails and messages received through platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp.


McAfee revealed research on online shopping habits that found over a third (39 percent) of Brits were unable to tell if a website is real or fake - but half said that if the price was cheaper than a trusted retailer, they would purchase from an online site even if they were not fully confident it was genuine or secure.

Twenty percent said they would make an online purchase over public or unsecured Wi-Fi, which could expose their payment details and personal information to cybercriminal lurking on the network. An average of £725 per person was lost to these criminals across the UK last year, with one respondent reporting that £48,000 was stolen from their bank account 

McAfee added that its suspicions had been raised further following the discovery of a phishing kit currently being used in the US and Japan to trick Amazon customers into handing over their personal information.

The kit allows hackers to create phishing emails that look like they have come from Amazon and prompt users to share their login credentials on a malicious website, and has already been used to create over 200 malicious URLs.

“Amazon Prime Day is a minefield for shoppers and presents a huge opportunity for cybercriminals to take advantage of unaware Brits. Bargain hunters need to think before they hand over their personal information to get the best deal, without being stung. Never feel panicked to get the best deal and take your time before entering any personal information," said Raj Samani, Chief Scientist and Fellow at McAfee.  

“Consumers should remember that if an advert for a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is – think before you click on a link to a discount. The same goes for emails and messages you receive through platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp. If a great discount lands in your inbox, you are best off checking out the site directly rather than clicking on any links.”

If you think you have been affected by a scam, McAfee recommends changing the passwords to any potentially compromised accounts, and keeping an eye on banking statements for any unfamiliar transact

Mike Moore
Deputy Editor, TechRadar Pro

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.