How to avoid scammers impersonating Amazon

SAN ANTONIO – You’re probably one of the 200 million people who have an Amazon Prime account or shop from the online retailer. This makes you an easy target for scammers posing as such.

“As an average American, you probably shop a lot on Amazon,” said Jason Zirkle, training director for the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. “We routinely buy things, everyday things, from Amazon, so we get text messages and emails from Amazon all the time. This is a great way for a scammer to break in and send you a deceptive SMS or email.”

Protect yourself by knowing how Amazon will contact you. You will never be asked to install an app or download any software to get a refund or help from customer service. You will never be asked to pay over the phone.

The default scammer script goes something like this:

“We believe you ordered this iPad,” said Scott Knapp, Amazon’s director of Worldwide Buyer Risk Prevention. “If you are not, you must contact us immediately before we charge your card. That’s the game of these fake order scams, they just want to trick the customer into engaging in some way and then they try to extract information. Hey give us your credit card details so we can make sure you won’t be charged. Then all of a sudden, a lot of bad things happen.”

Instead, review your purchases by checking the Your Orders page online or in the app. It keeps you from giving sensitive personal and financial information to a scammer.

Pay attention to urgency. Amazon will not push you to do anything immediately.

Read  How to do a One-Arm Pull-Up

“We (scammers) have already pretended to be someone you trust,” Knapp said. “If we (scammers) can make you feel like there’s an emergency, that makes you a lot more vulnerable. So if I could tell consumers to be aware and take a break. If it doesn’t seem right, take a breath and see, is this really something that urgent? Then rely on things you can trust. From an Amazon perspective, I would say that you can trust our website, our mobile app, or our world-class customer service, but contact those things directly and not a link that was sent to you.”

“If you get a link that says it’s from Amazon, don’t click it,” Zirkle said. “Go to the Amazon app or go to and then contact customer service and ask them for the link.”

Amazon said it is proactive in trying to stop scammers. Last year, 20,000 phishing websites and 10,000 phone numbers were shut down. It also referred hundreds of bad actors to law enforcement to ensure scammers are held accountable.

If you receive a suspicious message, report it to Amazon or email [email protected].

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button