READY to spend your hard-earned cash online?
Then make sure you don’t let scammers get their mitts on it.
Ahead of Black Friday at the end of the month, Action Fraud is warning Amazon shoppers are being targeted by tricksters.
Conmen are taking advantage of us flocking to the retail site as lockdown has forced non-essential shops to close, the fraud experts warned.
But you can still make the most of the sales if you can spot a scam from a saving.
From fraudsters and dodgy deals to top tips and too-good-to-be-true savings, follow Katy Docherty’s A to Z guide to getting the most from Amazon.
ALERTS: It might be tempting to snap something up straight away, but prices on Amazon can fluctuate so you might be missing out on a better deal.
You can create alerts with a free account on camelcamelcamel.com which will tell you when prices fall.
BRUSHING: IF you get a parcel from Amazon you didn’t order, don’t assume you have a secret admirer.
You could be a victim of brushing — a scam used by fraudsters to post fake glowing reviews by using a bogus account.
CHOICE: On the surface the Amazon’s Choice label looks like you are being recommended best-selling products.
But many of these sellers are paying or offering free gifts to fawning reviewers to qualify for the accolade.
Always check the reviews and, if they look suspicious, think twice about buying.
DOWNLOAD: Ordered something from Amazon but worried you can get it cheaper?
Download the Amazon shopping app and you can scan barcodes to check if you are getting the best possible price.
E -MAIL: Fake Amazon emails often report a problem with your account or a free prize and urge you to reveal credit card details.
Always check the sender ends in @amazon.co.uk and never give anyone your personal information.
F AKERS: If a deal seems too good to be true, it could well be.
The biggest scam on Amazon is fake sellers — who will take your money but send you nothing.
Always check with sites such as fakespot.com to check whether the item is genuine or not.
GIFT CARDS: The lure of freebies can fool any of us but if you see links on social media offering free Amazon gift cards, do not be tempted.
They will ask for your personal or financial details and you’ll end up out of pocket.
H ANG AROUND: When you are about to check out at the till, waiting a few days could save you money. Amazon will email you notifications when the price of items in your basket drops.
INVISIBLE DEVICES: Fraudsters have been linking smart TVs and iPads to loot customer accounts — and can hide these from your linked devices list.
If you suspect this is happening to you, contact Amazon to check where the charges are coming from.
JOIN: IF you use Amazon for everyday essentials such as toothpaste or detergent, you could be paying over the odds.
By clicking on the subscribe and save option at checkout, you could save five per cent on your shopping and you can cancel at any time.
KINDLE: Beware buying low-cost ebooks from Amazon’s Kindle store.
Amazon has been clamping down on fraudsters who make millions by conning readers into buying hastily written books.
LOCKERS: The orange lockers you see at supermarkets are often used by hackers or scammers to pick up deliveries without the risk of being traced.
Set up two-step authentication and change your password regularly to prevent thieves getting into your account.
MESSAGES: Conmen are tricking Amazon customers by texting to ask for delivery preferences.
If you receive a text like this, do not reply and certainly don’t part with your bank details.
N O SHOWS: Speedy delivery on Amazon can cost up to £5.99 but you won’t always get your orders on time.
If you have paid for shipment and it doesn’t arrive on time, Amazon will give you a refund.
OUTLET: Most retailers will overbuy and undersell on stock — and Amazon is no different.
Go to the outlet section on the website to peruse sale items but always double-check on Google to make sure you are getting the best deal.
PRIME: Amazon Prime is a fee-based loyalty scheme which offers fast delivery and access to special deals and TV shows.
But if you don’t want to shell out £79 for the annual fee, there’s a free month-long trial.
QUICK DELIVERY: If you want your shopping pronto but don’t want to pay £4.99 on each purchase, there’s a sneaky gamble you can try.
Select next-day delivery on just one of your items at checkout — it’s likely (but not guaranteed) that Amazon will send them all on next-day delivery.
REVIEWS: Fake testimonials have risen by 30 per cent since the start of the first lockdown as we turned to Amazon for our shopping.
Telltale signs are hordes of reviews appearing over a short period of time or multiple comments using similar phrases.
SMILE: Visit smile.amazon. com and select from charities including Cancer Research UK, the RSPCA and the Royal British Legion. With every order, Amazon Smile will donate 0.5 per cent of your total spend to a good cause.
TEAM VIEWER: Phone scammers claiming to be from Amazon will ask you to download an app called Team Viewer.
If you get this call, hang up — the app can be used to access your online banking and defraud you.
USED: If you are happy to buy returned or refurbished tech or appliances, try Amazon Renewed.
Repaired items often cost much less and still come with a one-year guarantee.
VOUCHERS: Discount codes will save you money at checkout but they are not always easy to find.
Software plug-in Honey will automatically search for vouchers and codes when you are shopping on Amazon.
WAREHOUSE: Scratched, used or returned goods can offer some good deals on Amazon Warehouse — but savings can vary and stock is limited. Always check the price at the warehouse and remember that for the biggest bargain, you might need to compromise on quality.
XTRAS: You can earn free Amazon vouchers while sitting in front of the telly by volunteering to take part in surveys.
Swagbucks offers Amazon vouchers after you answer anywhere from four to 18 online polls.
YOUTHS: If you are at college or university, use your student email address to get six months’ free Amazon Prime membership.
After six months you will have to pay for Prime but at a reduced rate of £39 a year — that’s a £40 saving.
ZAP! Lightning deals on Amazon are only around for a short while — sometimes as little as two hours — and you have just 15 minutes to check out.
If the product you want sells out, be sure to join the waitlist because other buyers may drop out.
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