The COVID-19 pandemic has people shopping online and ordering from Amazon. Naturally, scammers are finding ways to cash in. Better Business Bureau is receiving reports that con artists are posing as Amazon employees, calling people, and claiming to need information about their account or that something is wrong with an order.
BBB warns you to be on the lookout for suspicious calls and emails because in some cases, it looks like the call is coming from BBB or other official organizations. Spoofing phone numbers is extremely easy to accomplish with today’s technology.
Consumers describe answering a phone call to hear a recorded message claiming to be from Amazon stating there is a problem with your Amazon account. The messages range from a fraudulent charge on your Prime account to a lost or damaged package to an unfulfilled order for an iPhone. 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.
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, prepaid debit card or CashApp (such as Venmo, 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.
These calls usually say you can conveniently press 1 to speak with someone or they provide a number to call. Don’t do either. It’s a scam. They’re trying to steal your personal information, like your account password or your credit card number.
If you get an unexpected call or message about a problem with any of your accounts, hang up.
•Do not press 1 to speak with customer support
•Do not call a phone number they gave you
•Do not give out your personal information
•Do not press any button claiming that they will remove your number from their list.
If you think there may actually be a problem with one of your accounts, contact the company using a phone number or website you know is real.
For more information, read BBB's tips on phishing scams and tips for online shopping safely. Learn how to identify whether a call or message is really from Amazon. If you’ve gotten a phony call or been the victim of another scam, make others aware by filing a report on BBB Scam Tracker.
Kelvin Collins is President/CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving the Fall Line Corridor, serving 77 counties in East Alabama, West Georgia, Southwest Georgia, Central Georgia, East Georgia and Western South Carolina. This tips column is provided through the local BBB and the Council of Better Business Bureaus. The Better Business Bureau sets standards for ethical business behavior, monitors compliance and helps consumers identify trustworthy businesses. Questions or complaints about a specific company or charity should be referred directly to the BBB at Phone: 1-800-763-4222, Web site: BBB.org or E-mail: email@example.com.