That email from Amazon might be a phishing scam

Cartoon Phishing
(Image credit: Shutterstock / DRogatnev)

As more consumers decide to shop online this Black Friday due to the pandemic, Amazon is set to see a massive increase in sales which is why cybercriminals are already targeting unsuspecting shoppers with phishing scams.

The cybersecurity firm Webroot has released new statistics revealing a huge spike in the number of phishing URLs that include the word 'Amazon'.

According to the company's Real-Time Anti-Phishing protection system, phishing scams targeting the US ecommerce giant were up by 64 percent in October when compared to September as cybercriminals tried to capitalize on this year's Prime Day.

With Black Friday starting nearly a month in advance this year though, November saw a further 45 percent increase in the the number of average daily Amazon-related phishing URLs detected when compared to October.

Black Friday phishing scams

Although the number of Amazon-related phishing URLs have been increasingly steadily over the past few months, there was a 101 percent increase when compared to the same period last October and a 106 percent increase when compared to November 2019.

Senior threat researcher at Webroot Kelvin Murray provided further insight in this alarming trend in a press release, saying:

“We often see a rise in online scams targeting consumers and retailers in the last two months of the year, but this seems to be heightened this year amid the increase in online shopping as a result of the pandemic. Cybercriminals are smart, and frequently change their tactics in line with the news agenda. By using a household name such as Amazon, they can target a large volume of individuals in one go. We’ve seen that cyber attackers are refusing to show any mercy during this pandemic, and they will continue to exploit it in every possible way.”

For this reason, consumers should exercise extreme caution when scrutinizing any Black Friday deals that arrive in their inboxes. It's also worth remembering that if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.