Amazon Warns of Increasing Order Scams After It Starts Removing 20,000 Phishing Websites

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As the holiday season approaches, so does the number of scammers trying to steal money from vulnerable or unprotected victims. According to ABC News, Amazon has already begun taking down more than 20,000 phishing websites and 10,000 phone numbers associated with business impersonation scams.

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Amazon warns consumers to be on the lookout for fake Amazon employees phishing for credit card information, bank account information or Social Security number. Said scammers often use these pieces of information to commit identity theft. Calls or text messages from a scammer can claim to be a problem with your account, a failed credit card payment, or a lost package – in reality, these are some kind of confirmation scam.

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Fraudulent text messages are currently popular with identity thieves and financial thieves. A common example is asking a potential Amazon customer to contact customer service about an order (an order they never actually placed). Another scammer could use an obvious urgency with a fake order number and payment to get someone to contact “Amazon” (actually the scammer or their partners) for a refund.

As Dharmesh Mehta, Amazon’s vice president of partner services sales, told ABC “Good Morning America,” scammers often stress that whatever the current order issue is, it needs to be fixed immediately.

“A scammer will send you a fake order confirmation that looks like you bought something online or in a store and pretend you need to contact customer service immediately,” Mehta said. “And they will give you a contact or phone number to try to contact them.”

How to Avoid Amazon Text or Email Scams

Scammers are usually believable and formal, so you have to be careful. Amazon recommends the following preventive measures:

  • Do not click on any suspicious links.
  • Do not call or text phone numbers you do not recognize.
  • Be wary of any sense of urgency forced by an alleged contact.
  • When in doubt, contact customer service directly and submit a report.
  • Look for the Amazon smile logo when using email. This is a token used to verify that the message came directly from Amazon. (Although this can also be reproduced).

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Job scams are nothing new, but there seems to be an increase in them lately, especially with those promising guaranteed or easy income from fake Amazon agents.

Scammers are increasingly communicating with Facebook and Twitter users and hijacking group messages with attractive, remote, well-paid offers, according to CBS8’s transparency advocacy platform VERIFY. They even target people directly through personal, direct messaging with posts like:

“Hi, are you looking for a part time job now? We provide sales development services for Amazon and you can generate a steady income of $10-200 in just one hour a day. Ages 25-70, regardless of gender, you do not need to pay any deposit or membership fee and the Commission is paid daily. If you are interested, please attach my telegram.”

An Amazon spokesperson told VERIFY that the company will never ask job candidates for cash at any point or at any point in the application process, but thieves are starting to blow the information out with false promises. Scammers suggest enabling a separate cross-platform messenger like Telegram to communicate later.

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In April, AARP reviewed popular scams for 2022, noting that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) claims that one-third of all commercial fraud complaints involve someone claiming to work for Amazon. Unfortunately, people seem to trust “Amazon” scammers, probably because the brand is such a well-known and widely popular retail establishment.

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When it comes to scammers trying to take your money (and personal information), protect yourself by using common sense and continuing to track your identity everywhere. If you receive correspondence that you think may be fraudulent and may not come from Amazon, you can report it using Amazon’s reporting form.

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