As the peak shopping season gets underway, scammers are out in force with new ways to part consumers from their cash. (Photo credit: Better Business Bureau)

As the peak shopping season gets underway, scammers are out in force with new ways to part consumers from their cash. (Photo credit: Better Business Bureau)

Amazon imposters out to trick, not treat, consumers so beware

With more and more people shopping online, fraudsters are trying to take advantage of customers

The COVID-19 pandemic has more people than ever before ordering from Amazon, and scammers have been finding ways to cash in on the trend. Con artists are now posing as Amazon employees and are calling consumers claiming to need information about their account. With Black Friday and Christmas on the horizon, these calls are likely to increase.

The phone call is either a person or a recorded message claiming to be reaching out from Amazon concerning a problem with your account. Customers who have reported the calls to the Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) Scam Tracker say that they have included messages about “fraudulent” charges on a Prime card; lost or damaged packages; a credit card that has been declined; and an unfulfilled order.

Regardless of the message, the end goal is the same: tricking consumers into releasing their personal information. Some consumers shared that the scammers requested their credit card number and the log-in details for their Amazon account. In other cases, the scammers request remote access to the consumer’s computer under the guise of “helping” to solve the issue.

BBB teamed up with Amazon to share the following tips for consumers:

Be skeptical of unsolicited calls. There are instances where some departments at Amazon will call customers. If you are not sure that the caller is really from Amazon, hang up. Remember that Amazon will never ask you to disclose or verify sensitive personal information or offer you a refund you are not expecting. Amazon will also never ask you for remote access to your device. If a purchase, or claim of a purchase, sounds strange or unfamiliar, check your account in a separate web browser or contact Amazon’s customer service to verify.

Ignore unsolicited messages that ask for your personal information. Amazon will never send you an unsolicited message that asks you to provide sensitive personal information, such as your social insurance number, bank account number, or credit card details. If there is an issue with your payment method, you will receive a message by email or through the Amazon app asking you to go to your account to review the details.

Ignore calls for immediate action. Scammers try to get you to act without thinking by creating a sense of urgency. Don’t fall for it!

Beware of unusual payment methods. Amazon will never ask you to make a payment outside of their website. Requests to pay via wire transfer, prepaid debit card, and cryptocurrency are almost always a sign of fraud.

Report it to Amazon. If you receive a questionable email or call from a person impersonating an Amazon employee, report them to Amazon customer service. Amazon will investigate and take action, if warranted.

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