Amazon warns of ‘fake’ messages from scammers ahead of festive season

Amazon scam sees random parcels turn up on doorstep

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In an article written on its website this week, Amazon stated it wanted to “help consumers” avoid impersonation scammers this Christmas season and had compiled ways for its customers to spot scams. In its post, Amazon revealed that fake order confirmations accounted for more than 50 percent of all impersonation scams reported by its customers.

Amazon noted the “unsolicited communications” made by scammers often refer to a purchase, that someone hasn’t actually made.

It explained how the messages will usually request a person to “act urgently” and confirm the purchase through a fake link included in the message.

These messages can also urge the victim to call Amazon’s “supposed” customer service number.

By doing this, Amazon warned that it could open up someone up to having their personal or financial information stolen.

Amazon noted how even though it invests “significant resources to protect consumers and stores” from these scammers, the scams are still getting through.

To prevent someone from falling a victim to an impersonation scam, Amazon urges its customers to always follow six steps over Black Friday and Christmas.

The first step in avoiding these scams involves someone verifying their purchases on their Amazon account on the company’s official website.

If someone receives a text or email about a purchase of a product or service, Amazon urged people to not respond to the message or click on any links included in the message.

Instead, they should log into their Amazon account or use the Amazon mobile app to confirm that it is really in their purchase history before taking any action.

Amazon then reminds its customers that it will “not ask for payment over the phone or email” and will only as for payment through its mobile app, website or in one of its physical stores.

It reiterated: “We will not call and ask you to make a payment or bank transfer on another website.”

Amazon further advised its customers to “be wary of false urgency” as scammers often try to create a sense of urgency to persuade someone to do what they’re asking.

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The company also warned of scammers pressuring people to purchase gift cards for a sale instead of paying through a debit/credit card.

It said: “We will never ask you to purchase a gift card, and no legitimate sale or transaction will require you to pay with gift cards.”

If someone ever feels unsure after being contacted by a scammer purporting to be Amazon, then the “safest” step to take is to “stop engaging with the potential scammer” and to contact Amazon immediately on its app or official website.

It added: “Do not call numbers sent over text or email, or found in online search results. And remember Amazon will not ask you to download or install any software to connect with customer service nor will we request payment for any customer service support.”

People can report any and all Amazon impersonation scams to Amazon’s self-service tool in a few steps and if someone is not an Amazon customer then they can report the suspicious message to the email: [email protected].

Amazon says the reports of these scams help the company to “identify bad actors” and “take action against them, helping us stop scams before they happen”.

Across 2022, Amazon has initiated takedowns of more than 20,000 phishing websites and more than 10,000 phone numbers which were being used as part of impersonation schemes.

It has also referred more than 100 Amazon scammers across the world to local law enforcement authorities.

Dharmesh Mehta, Amazon’s vice president of Selling Partner Services said: “Scammers who attempt to impersonate Amazon put consumers at risk.

“Although these scams take place outside our store, we will continue to invest in protecting consumers and educating the public on how to avoid scams.”

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