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12 Scams of Christmas, Day 8: Amazon fakes

Amazon Affirm
Posted at 10:00 PM, Dec 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-14 07:58:43-05

If you order anything from Amazon this holiday season — be careful of emails or calls about your account.

Amazon impersonators are targeting shoppers, and they have different ways of tricking you into sending them money.

The scams work, because of how many people order from Amazon.

Myla, from Broken Arrow tells us, "I started ordering Christmas gifts from Amazon weeks ago. So I didn't give it a second thought when I got a message which I thought was from Amazon about one of those many orders. Come to find out I got scammed out of more than $300."

And while you may think these phishing emails, calls, or texts are obvious, the impostors were able to steal millions of dollars from customers in just the last year.

Myla actually got off easy, compared to some victims.

In Maryland for example, a scammer bilked an unsuspecting target out of $18,000 in gift cards.

Angie Barnett, with the Better Business Bureau says, "They give many different responses as to why your amazon account has been compromised and why you need to pay them money."

In one variation of the scam — you’ll get a notification that your account’s been hacked.

The only way to protect it is to buy gift cards and share the number and pin on the back.

Or you may get an email or text about an unauthorized purchase on your account.

The phone number connects you to a phony amazon rep who says they issued a refund but sent more than promised.

"So what they want you to do is send them money to cover the expenses they allege you owe."

They trick you into giving them remote access to your phone or computer, have you log into your banking app, then help themselves to your money.

Then, there are texts about fake raffles, asking you for credit card information to pay for shipping.

Or customers in need of assistance google amazon customer service and accidentally call the wrong number.

"They will actually answer the phone and say Amazon, and it’s not their customer service."

According to the FTC — 1 in 3 business impersonators pretends to be with Amazon.

96,000 people reported being targeted and reported losses totaled $27 million dollars.

As for Myla, she just wants to warn others about what happened to her. She says, "I want to make sure they're not scammed like me, especially when trying to give your family and friends gifts during the holidays."

Experts say the most common victims are seniors, and the average loss is a thousand bucks.

So never click any links in emails. And if you receive a call, hang up and go directly to the company’s website.

And you’ll never need to give someone remote access for a refund or send someone else gift card numbers or pins.

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