BBB warns consumers of online scheme as ‘Prime Days’ kicks off

Published: Jul. 11, 2023 at 8:32 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 11, 2023 at 8:44 PM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Many consumers wait all year to take advantage of online deals like Amazon’s “Prime Days,” and those high-volume shopping days attract schemes to take your personal information and money.

Consumer experts warn consumers to be careful when it comes to putting in personal information online if they’re not sure about a website’s authenticity.

Myrtle Beach resident, Ron Girton, and his wife were victims of a scheme by simply clicking on the wrong link in search of customer service assistance.

“People have got to be aware if they start asking strange questions hang up,” said Ron Girton.

The couple lost $1,500 through a site that looked like Amazon but turned out to be a scheme.

“I tried to pull it up and put my user and my password and everything and, I couldn’t get it, so I called customer service to help me get it back online,” said Lisa Girton.

Nicole Cordero with The Better Business Bureau Serving the eastern Carolinas said the Girtons may have fallen victim to a scheme where a thief will create a lookalike website with a simple tweak in the URL.

“So, they’ll take a URL sometimes it’ll have HTTP without an ‘s’,” said Cordero. “Without an s that means the website is not secure. You do not want to put your information, especially credit card information into that because who knows where it’ll end up.”

That’s not the only method. The BBB said ads with incredible deals, may be a phishing scheme in order to get your important information like your passwords or credit card number.

“The one thing The Better Business Bureau can say is if it sounds too good to be true it probably is,” said Cordero.

Meanwhile, the Girtons said they are in the process of getting their money back after a simple mistake, but questions remain about the criminals on the other side of the computer screen.

“What happens to the scammer, you know hopefully we stop ours, but how many people didn’t?” said Ron Girton.

Other recommendations from the BBB include installing security cameras for packages as well as relying on trusted neighbors.