Thanks in part to the coronavirus pandemic, more people than ever before now rely on Amazon for their shopping needs. During the June 2021 quarter, Amazon generated more than $113 billion in revenue.
Of this figure, nearly $68 billion was attributable to online sales. With Amazon’s user base growing, and with so much money involved, it’s no surprise that Amazon users are increasingly being targeted by scammers.
You might recall a recent Amazon scam where a woman was bilked out of $2,000. In that particular scheme, scammers called the woman and said someone was trying to buy an iPhone via her Amazon account.
After revealing sensitive financial information, the scammers were able to steal money from her checking account.
The latest Amazon scam
The latest scam targeting Amazon users starts off with what seems like an official email from the online retail giant. The email warns users that someone recently made an unusually large purchase on their account.
Further, the email includes a number for users to call to address the issue. Once a user calls the number, the scam artists will ask for Amazon login information. There are also reports of users being asked to divulge sensitive financial information, all under the guise of remedying the alleged purchase.
The latest scam is particularly noteworthy because it does a better job of hiding its true intentions. For starters, the email in question doesn’t include any attachments.
The email also doesn’t include any outbound links for users to click on. In other words, some of the telltale signs of an email-based scam aren’t present. This lends an air of legitimacy to the spoofed email.
What to do if you receive a suspicious email or call
If you’re on the receiving end of an email or call that purports to come from Amazon, do not click on any links, call a listed number, or hand out sensitive information. Instead, log in to your Amazon account first.
Next, go to the “Your Orders” section of the website. This is found on the upper right-hand side of the toolbar, underneath the Account & Lists heading.
Here, you can see a full list of all your purchases and instantly see for yourself if there have been any unauthorized purchases.
If you’d like to talk to an Amazon representative about any concerns, never rely upon a number provided in an email. Instead, contact Amazon Customer Service directly over here.
Basic safety guidelines to follow
The unfortunate reality is that the elderly are more likely to fall prey to common Amazon scams. To this end, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) lists several guidelines to keep in mind when dealing with an Amazon imposter:
- Beware of unsolicited phone calls claiming to be from Amazon alerting you of a “problem” with your account. Never provide these callers with account information or access to your computer, phone, or tablet.
- Don’t click on links in text messages that claim to be from Amazon.
- Understand what emails and other contacts from Amazon look like and when you might receive them. If an email looks suspicious don’t take the chance of clicking on a link or following its instructions.
- Protect your Amazon username and password. Do not provide this information to anyone who you do know or trust. Change your password regularly.
- If you are ever in doubt about correspondence you receive from Amazon, log in to your account at www.amazon.com to verify the legitimacy of the message.
- If you are attempting to contact customer support do not trust a simple internet search. Only use the contact information found on the Amazon website.
- Be prepared to spot scammers using similar tactics posing as other common or essential businesses and delivery services like grocery stores, Wal-Mart, FedEx, and UPS.