The COVID-19 pandemic has more people than ever ordering from Amazon. And, of course, scammers are finding ways to cash in on the trend. Con artists are posing as Amazon employees, calling people, and claiming to need information about their account right as Amazon has their Prime days this week. And if that wasn’t tricky enough, scammers are spoofing BBB’s phone number to do it!
How the Scam Works
You answer the phone, and it is a recorded message claiming to be from Amazon stating there is a problem with your Amazon account. The message ranges from a fraudulent charge on your Prime card to a lost or damaged package to an unfulfilled order for an iPhone 10. But no matter what the recording is, these scammers have the same goal: getting your personal information. The con artists will either outright ask for credit card and account login details. Or, they will request remote access to your computer under the guise of “helping” to solve the issue.
Also look out for a confusing twist on this scam. The con artists are spoofing other organizations’ phone numbers to help disguise their calls and lend them credibility – including BBB’s number! That means they probably using other phone numbers too, so watch out.
How to Spot this Scam
- Be skeptical of email and unsolicited calls. Some departments at Amazon will call customers, but Amazon will never ask you to disclose or verify sensitive personal information or offer you a refund you do not expect. Amazon will never ask you to make a payment outside of their website and will never ask you for remote access to your device.
- Ignore unsolicited messages that ask for personal information. Amazon will also never send you an unsolicited message that asks you to provide sensitive personal information, such as your tax ID, bank account number or credit card information.
- Ignore calls for immediate action. Scammers try to get you to act before you think by creating a sense of urgency. Don’t fall for it.
- Beware of requests to pay via wire transfer, CashApp, or prepaid debit card (such as MoneyPak, iTunes or similar cards). These are almost always a sign of fraud.
Report it to Amazon. Any customer that receives a questionable email or call from a person impersonating an Amazon employee report them to Amazon customer service. Amazon investigates these complaints and will takes action, if warranted.
Learn more about phishing scams at BBB.org/PhishingScam. Learn more about how to identify whether a call or message is really from Amazon.
If you’ve been a victim of this scam, be sure to report it at BBB.org/ScamTracker. Your report can help others to spot a scam before it’s too late.