BBB warns of new website mimic scam

"Special" online shopping days bring out the scammers.
Published: Jul. 11, 2023 at 8:31 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - It’s Prime Day and for many that means hunting for the best deal on the store’s website but be careful, the Better Business Bureau is warning people about a scam that mimics the site, and could cost you.

The Federal Trade Commission found that nearly $8.8 billion was lost to scams in 2022. These scams come in a variety of forms, from fake texts to phone calls. The latest trick, mimicking popular websites.

Jessie Schmidt with the Better Business Bureau says this will look like a normal link but after you click on it, unwanted software is downloaded to your computer.

“We call it keystroking software so if I enter my credit card on a checkout page, it’s showing up on their screen what my credit card information is so they’re not just getting the last four digits they’re getting my entire number credit card number my expiration date and that digital code ya know the CVV code on the back,” said Schmidt.

A good way to tell if a site is safe is if the beginning of the site’s URL has the letters HTTPS in it with the S standing for a secure connection.

Schmidt says depending on the information the scammers get, it can be hard to get back any money they have taken.

“That’s really the bummer of the whole thing, that’s why you always want to pay with a credit card because you do have some protections innately around a credit card,” said Schmidt.

We took to the streets to ask people in the area what their reaction to a scam like this is.

“When you do something like that and you don’t get what you ordered, that isn’t right,” said one person.

“I hate them, because they prey on people first they prey on people’s greed and they also prey on people’s trust,” said another person.

“I got a deal on my cell phone that said it was Amazon and did I make this purchase for this amount of money and if no call this number. Well I called that number called the number and the next thing I know my bank account is empty,” said a victim of one of these scams.

Schmidt says the best practice is to always use a credit card for online purchases and to bookmark sites you know are safe.