Hackers gear up for Amazon Prime Days with 2,300+ new web domains registered to lure shoppers

Consumer Watch

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Amazon Prime Day is just days away and hackers are primed to steal your money in a big way this year.

Cybersecurity experts say Amazon impersonators are swarming already, preparing to pounce when Prime Day goes live next week on June 21 and 22.

The clatter of keyboards has been resounding across cyberspace as the hackers create phony Amazon sites to lure shoppers in.

“Cybercriminals are really trying to impersonate the Amazon brand ahead of this big shopping day to trick consumers into credential theft, getting your email, address, name, passwords and more,” said cybersecurity expert Maya Levine with Check Point Research.

The firm says in the last 30 days more than 2,300 new domains were registered using some variation on the Amazon name.

“We’re seeing nearly 80 percent of the domains that contain Amazon as potentially dangerous,” said Levine.

How are people tricked? Criminals build a page that visually looks just like an Amazon site, with a tiny, hard to notice difference in the URL, which is the website address.

“A lot of time the difference is one letter in the URL,” said Levine. “Did you catch the misspelling? Everything else is the same.”

The legit Amazon site has an “S” on http which stands for “secure.” It also has a lock icon in the URL.

“No lock is a major red flag,” said Levine. “If you don’t see a lock, it’s an indication that it is not a legitimate site.”

Fake Amazon emails are also flooding people’s inboxes.

If you hold your cursor on the sender’s address, it will reveal who really sent it. Unless it comes from Amazon.com, it’s a fake.

Levine said no Amazon email or website will ask for a lot of personal information .

“No online retailer needs to know your birthday, or social security number to do business,” she said.

Other ways to protect yourself:

  • Create a special Prime Day password (and don’t reuse it)
  • Don’t shop using public Wi-Fi (hackers can intercept it)
  • Watch out for super-low fake deals

“An 80 percent discount on an Ipad is usually not a reliable or trustworthy purchase opportunity,” said Levine.

You should also buy only with credit cards, not a debit card. A debit card is connected right to a bank account and if a hacker gets into that, he’s got the keys to your vault.

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