Has Amazon contacted you to confirm a recent purchase you didn’t make or to tell you that your account has been hacked? According to the FTC’s new Data Spotlight, since July 2020, about one in three people who have reported a business impersonator scam say the scammer pretended to be Amazon.
These scams can look a few different ways. In one version, scammers offer to “refund” you for an unauthorized purchase but “accidentally transfer” more than promised. They then ask you to send back the difference. What really happens? The scammer moves your own money from one of your bank accounts to the other (like your Savings to Checkings, or vice versa) to make it look like you were refunded. Any money you send back to “Amazon” is your money (not an overpayment) — and as soon as you send it out of your account, it becomes theirs. In another version of the scam, you’re told that hackers have gotten access to your account — and the only way to supposedly protect it is to buy gift cards and share the gift card number and PIN on the back. Once that information is theirs, the money is, too.
Here are some ways to avoid an Amazon impersonator scam:
- Never call back an unknown number. Use the information on Amazon’s website and not a number listed in an unexpected email or text.
- Don’t pay for anything with a gift card. Gift cards are for gifts. If anyone asks you to pay with a gift card – or buy gift cards for anything other than a gift, it’s a scam.
- Don’t give remote access to someone who contacts you unexpectedly. This gives scammers easy access to your personal and financial information—like access to your bank accounts.
Have you spotted this scam? Report it at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
If you think someone has gotten access to your accounts or personal information, visit IdentityTheft.gov. There, you’ll find steps to take to see if your identity has been misused, and how to report and recover from identity theft.
The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.
- We won’t post off-topic comments, repeated identical comments, or comments that include sales pitches or promotions.
- We won’t post comments that include vulgar messages, personal attacks by name, or offensive terms that target specific people or groups.
- We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
- We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.
In reply to I have one question, how can by suzyq
Some people said a scammer moved money around in their accounts after they gave the scammer remote access to their computer, laptop, or phone. If you give a scammer access to your device, they may be able to get into your bank account.
In reply to Some people said scammers by FTC Staff
In reply to I feel like "don't let people by Phil the Buster
In reply to The way I see it, when I've by SA SA
In reply to Recently I received a text by Don't use your…
In reply to I must receive three of these by Mrs. Beadsie
In reply to I have had multiple phone by Warren
In reply to Very simple everyone- Never, by Wisdom
In reply to And another one! I was by Eunique
In reply to I really fear for gullible by Kinikia
In reply to I get text messages saying my by Gma22
In reply to I have been getting them by Mar-Be