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Fraudsters Piggyback on Amazon Prime Day’s Popularity

19 July 2019 - 15:59 by Graham Miller

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The heavily publicised return of Prime Day earlier this week led to millions of people spending billions of pounds on products available via safe shopping online from Amazon’s website.

However, as with any major sales event there were also lots of attempts to exploit enthusiastic bargain seekers by the digital con artists operating online, according to the security experts at McAfee.

Tech Radar reports that consumers could be caught out by scams designed to tie in with Prime Day. Furthermore, in the age of social media, these fraudulent activities were not limited solely to phishing emails.

Platforms like Facebook and even IM service WhatsApp were apparently full of phoney links being shared, often unknowingly.

In a recent survey of British shoppers, McAfee found that 39 per cent of respondents admitted to being incapable of distinguishing a genuine website from a fake one set up to steal their information.

More worrying still was the revelation that 50 per cent of people would commit to a purchase on a site which had a lower-priced item on it than could be found on alternative reputable sites. This shows that deals which are too good to be true are still enough to cause consumers to throw caution to the wind, even if they will end up being defrauded.

On average the cost of online fraud per person in Britain was £725, although in many cases victims lose a lot more than this - potentially into the tens of thousands of pounds.

Prime Day and other events, including Black Friday, are used by scammers to dupe consumers and steal information, which is a fact that people will simply have to live with. This means that vigilance is always important and it makes sense to treat suspicious links with care.