Threat Alert: Watch out for Amazon Prime Day scams

Security experts report scammers are trying to cash in on the sale promotion

Shopping has been in the news lately as Amazon, Walmart and Target have all announced special sales promotions for mid-July. 

Amazon started it all with its annual Prime Day and it remains the best-known of the sales. This week’s ConsumerAffairs-Trend Micro Threat Alert shows scammers are taking advantage of it.

Amazon phishing 

  • Trend Micro's research identified a phishing scam in which an SMS message prompts the victim to verify their Amazon account via a fake login page. 

  • The top five states being targeted are Virginia, California, Florida, Texas, and Georgia 

“Scammers are ramping up to take advantage of the annual Amazon Prime Day on Tuesday, July 11th. Consumers who want to take advantage of this day of savings should be vigilant in looking out for the plethora of scams we’re likely to see occur, Jon Clay, vice president for Threat Intelligence at Trend Micro told ConsumerAffairs. “Trend Micro’s research team has detected Amazon SMS phishing attacks looking to steal the account owners’ credentials with the top five states being targeted the most Virginia, California, Florida, Texas, and Georgia.”

Travel scams 

  • From April 1 to June 26, Trend Micro's research team found 1,979 travel-related scam URLs, which increased by 24.6% compared to the past weeks. This included three fake login pages 

  • Over one-third of the victims in the U.S. are from Oregon: 32.37%. 

  • The top five states being targeted are Oregon, Virginia, Washington, Pennsylvania, and Illinois 

With the Fourth of July coming up Americans are hitting the road in greater numbers and scammers are deploying all types of schemes to ensnare victims. ConsumerAffairs recently reported on several of these summer travel scams, along with ways to avoid them.

Costco Survey Scam 

  • Trend Micro's research found scammers inviting customers to participate in a short Costco survey to get a $100 cash value prize. The scammers wish to collect victims’ private information and credit card information. 

  • The top five states being targeted are California, Alabama, Texas, Illinois, and Nebraska 

This scam is increasing again, probably because it is highly successful. The victim receives an email that looks like it is coming from Costco and asks the recipient to fill out a short survey.

The bait is a gift card or other item with at least $100. That should be a red flag since retailers can’t afford to pay that much for a consumer’s feedback. The scam seeks to steal personal information, along with credit card information.

FedEx Phishing 

  • Trend Micro's research identified scammers impersonating FedEx to ask email receivers to declare their imported items via specific instructions. Victims were prompted to log in on a fake website to collect the victim’s personal information.  

  • Trend Micro's research team found 194 logs on June 23. 

“FedEx does not request, via unsolicited mail, email, or text, any personal information pertaining to your account credentials or identity,” the company says on its website. “If you get a suspicious email, do not reply or cooperate with the sender.”

FedEx says red flags include an urgent request for money in return for the delivery of your packages and requests for your personal and financial information.

Office Printer Phishing 

  • Trend Micro's research identified scammers pretending to be Office Printer and sent victims a notification letter to redirect them to ‘View Document’ or ‘Download Document.’  

  • Trend Micro's research team detected 371 logs on June 26. 

The scammers sending out these emails hope to deceive recipients into clicking on a link. If they do, recipients open a bogus website where scammers try to steal the passwords of email accounts.

Take an Identity Theft Quiz. Get matched with an Authorized Partner.