(Photo by rupixen.com on Unsplash)

Inboxes typically fill with scams as well as offers on the eve of Black Friday sales and 2020 will likely be no different, especially with so many employees working from home.

Alexey Ferapontov, blogging for Kaspersky, says customers and businesses should stay on the alert for some of the most commonly encountered internet scams related to online sales giant Amazon in particular.

"Anyone who has had any contact with Amazon knows that, from time to time, you may come across scammers who parasitically exploit the marketplace’s popularity. They defraud all sorts of users: sellers, buyers, regular users, and one-time visitors," Ferapontov notes on Kaspersky's blog.

Phishing for personal data is a common threat, he says. People are told to click a link which leads to a fake Amazon website and enter personal details such as username and password or make a call. Fraudsters can then use the details they receive to hack your account or carry out other scams.

People are often targeted with fake messages about, for example, Amazon Prime subscription charges, notifications of prizes, gifts, job offers or communications about product purchases or deliveries.

Sometimes messages can appear to have been sent via a relative -- for example, suggesting that your grandparent wants you to help him or her buy some inexpensive gift cards to distribute as presents.

People have also been prompted to install legitimate remote-access software in a scam which relieved UK residents of £1m during three months in 2019, Ferapontov says.

"One of the most common phishing techniques uses a message that appears to come from Amazon and refers to suspicious activity or unauthorised transactions in your account. In this scenario, the scammers try to frighten you by making you think someone hacked your account," he explains.

"Remember that Amazon will never ask for your account login information by email or text message."

If you suspect a notification could be fake, do not click on it or use any of the details in it to connect with your account. Only check your account by logging into it separately and independently of the message. Mistakes in grammar or spelling can be red flags that something is wrong, although scams may also be well written and expressed.

"If you’ve entered your details where you shouldn’t, or if you suspect you’ve been hacked, immediately contact Amazon support," he says. "Never send a product before you see the payment directly in your personal account, not simply a promise that it’s coming."

These practices should be instigated in addition to appropriate security products, such as Kaspersky Total Security or Kaspersky Internet Security, that help keep computers free of malware. Antivirus software and internet security offerings remain key.

For more anti-scam tips from Ferapontov and Kaspersky, read the full blog here.