Amazon is one of the largest retailers and online stores in the world. It has millions of customers, so it’s no surprise that scammers have targeted Amazon to try to trick people into giving them money or information. We’ll cover some of the scams being used right now, including a new variant on an old favorite: The IRS scam call.
An Amazon caller asks you to verify your bank info
- Never give out your bank account info to a caller. Amazon will never ask for this information over the phone, so if you receive a call requesting it, hang up and contact Amazon directly.
- If you do choose to provide your personal banking details, it’s possible that you will be scammed by someone impersonating an Amazon employee. Identity theft is one of the fastest-growing crimes in America; giving away sensitive financial data makes you vulnerable to being targeted by fraudsters and identity thieves.
The Amazon caller asks you to press a number on your phone keypad
If you get a call from someone claiming to be from Amazon, and they ask you to press 1, 2, 3 or 4 on your phone keypad: don’t do it! The only thing this accomplishes is giving the scammer access to your contact information. There’s no legitimate reason for them to know this information unless you’ve clicked on a link in an email or text message (which we’ll cover below).
While we’re on the subject…
A voice announces that you’ve won an Amazon sweepstakes prize
There’s a new scam in town, and it’s called the “Amazon sweepstakes scam.” While this kind of fraud has been around for years, scammers are using some pretty sophisticated techniques to trick people into giving them their personal information. In this tactic, you’ll receive a call from someone claiming to be from Amazon who tells you that you’ve won a prize. This can occur when a caller says they’re calling on behalf of Amazon or that they’re an employee of the company (or even both). The goal is always the same: get your personal information so they can steal your identity and commit fraud against your bank account.
If this happens to you, don’t give out any personal information over the phone—and definitely don’t send cash! If someone calls asking for money or sends an email asking for payment via gift card or wire transfer (which would allow them access to almost any account), ignore it completely—even if it looks like an official Amazon communication. You should also always check with legitimate companies before sending money; if there’s any doubt about legitimacy or authenticity, stay away!
You get a text message about Amazon prizes
If you get a text message from Amazon, it’s probably a scam.
Amazon will never send you a text message about winning a prize or gift card. If you receive a text message that claims to be from Amazon and says that you have won something, delete it immediately.
A caller says there is a problem with your account or order
There are many ways that scammers can steal your identity. Many times, they’ll start by calling you and pretending to be someone else who is trying to help you out of a bind. The first thing they’ll do is ask you for your account information—your credit card number, the last four digits of your Social Security number and so on. They might also try to get into other personal information like your address and phone number.
If you think this sounds suspicious or something fishy is going on, don’t give out any confidential information over the phone!
Your caller ID says the call is from Amazon
Amazon will not call you to ask for your personal information. If a caller ID says the call is from Amazon, don’t trust it. Some scammers use spoofed numbers—and with Caller ID spoofing services available for less than $10 per month, there’s no reason not to use them.
If you get one of these calls, hang up immediately and do not call back any number that showed up on your caller ID.
Your caller ID says AMZN_CALL
If you see the caller ID AMZN_CALL, it’s probably a scam. This is because the call may be coming from an automated phishing site, or it could be just an unlucky coincidence that you’re getting phished at all.
The first thing to do if you get a call from this number is check your account and credit card statements for suspicious activity. It’s also a good idea to contact Amazon directly using their customer service number so they can help determine whether your account has been compromised or what else might be going on.
It’s helpful to know how the latest scams work.
It’s helpful to know how the latest scams work. Here are some of the most common ones, along with tips on how to spot them and protect yourself:
- The Amazon scam: This one is a variation on a routine telephone fraud called the “grandparent scam.” You receive an email or voicemail from someone who claims to be your grandchild in distress; they’ve been arrested overseas, their passport has expired (or something similar), and they need money immediately. If you click any links or call any numbers in this message, it will lead you right into a trap set up by criminals who want access to your bank account information and credit cards so they can steal money from you directly.
- The Apple Store scam: Someone calls claiming that there’s been fraudulent activity on your Apple ID account—you need to log into your account now! When you do so, hackers can get all of your passwords for other accounts and steal even more money than before.
- The IRS scam: Someone calls pretending that he’s an agent with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). He says he needs you to send him money immediately because you owe taxes on illegal activities like buying drugs online—or sometimes just because he owes taxes himself!
These scams are becoming more common and can be quite costly. It’s helpful to know how they work so that you can avoid falling for them in the future.