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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.

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65 Comments

kasky
October 21, 2021
NEVER give anyone access to your computer!
Yogi Smarter t…
October 21, 2021
I keep getting calls on my "spam line" (the land line) that $749 is being charged to my Amazon account. I just laugh when I hear the message and delete because I (1) don't have an Amazon account, and (2) never will because of these calls. As soon as I learn to use eFax, bye-bye spam line. These calls are almost as good as the ones telling me my vehicle warranty is expiring but they can't tell me which car (the 14 year old one or the 17 year old one) they are calling about. Always the 2nd chuckle of the day.
junie buggs
October 22, 2021
Now that it is open enrolement, we are getting up to 20 calls a day.We have gotten this one quite a few times on my husbands phone and I tell him not to worry.The other is car repairs.If they think a new one up, we get it.
Savvy Consumer
October 22, 2021
I receive emails allegedly from Amazon. They are clearly a scam but Amazon does have a "stop spoofing" email to forward them. As for phone scams until the FTC bans the sale of spoofing equipment in the U.S. it will be an problem. I have 3 types of block on my phone and yet it continues.
need coffee
October 23, 2021
I get the Amazon call, quit frequantly. But I'm not worried.I dont even have an Amazon account.
Geezeron
October 24, 2021
First, I do realize why many entities such as Amazon, etc. do all they can to make dealing with them convenient for us. So how "convenient" has it been for you dealing with some scammer"s nastiness? I do not "store" any ID or password in any device I use that can connect to the internet and, I do pay attention to a sender's address. In particular, I never use either my smartphone or tablet for financial purposes. I do use my desktop to check on my credit card and banking balances. However, with the credit cards, those companies send me daily balances via email that I can check against receipts when in doubt. With the bank, after signing in manually using my ID and password, the activity that appears is limited to view and print only. This arrangement can only be changed be me in person with my photo ID, which is how I have arranged with the bank. Even when they know me by sight, they still are required to ask for identification as I have instructed them to do. My result has always been that my accounts are safe and, any inconvenience is well "worth" the bother.
PatTnDon't use…
October 25, 2021
I received a call this morning that appears to me one of these. I never answer my phone if I do not recognize the caller. They left a voicemail that I did not respond. Hope this is the end of it for me. I also blocked the number on my phone.
Noelle
October 25, 2021
ALWAYS look at the email address before clicking on any link in these kinds of emails. That is your biggest clue as the legitimacy of the email. I also have my email set to send only emails from people in my contacts list to my inbox. All others go to my junk mail folder which I do check daily. And don't trust anyone when it comes to your devices and financial accounts.
Dan
October 25, 2021
I also keep getting calls from"Amazon" saying i owe over$1700.00 and i have told this person or people that this number has been reported and they still try to call, and of course they try to get info blah blah, i just think they should all get caught and arrested, that would work!! i do not answer any such calls now or will!!
Rakenroler
October 26, 2021
It’s really annoying and it has become a real intrusion of peace in anyone’s home. My wife answered a call and woke me up one morning to asked me if I purchased something from Amazon that costs over $1200. Amazon called because they have suspected that the purchase was bogus but somehow successful. The call turned into an argument between us, disrupted our peaceful Saturday morning and my sleep over a simple nonsense phone call. This scamming had already turned full circle using the technology and the reason why this cannot be stop because we allowed it and now it had manifested into a billion dollar business and its now part of our economy. It’s balance of nature. The Ying-yang effect. Up-Down. Good-Evil.
Reallygotscammed
October 27, 2021
This was how I got scammed. I got an email supposedly from Amazon. The email commended me for my recent purchase from Amazon, which incidentally was true. I just ordered some items a few days earlier. The scammer was probably working at Amazon or it was purely coincidental. They had the Prime Logo of Amazon in the email. They said they have reward gifts for me just to say thank you for shopping Amazon. I was happy. They asked me to click on wheel of Fortune-like image to pick my choice of gift. That click took me to a different website where about seven gifts were lined up with some of them no longer available. But the one I picked was still available. It was a headlamp that cost about $50.00 retail. They had around five to six "testimonies" probably from fake people saying lofty things about the gifts they got. They said the gift is completely FREE. The catch is that you pay only for shipping to get the gift delivered to you. You pay with your credit or debit card. Once the deal is done and your shipping payment is made, they send you the gift. You are happy. But three weeks to one month later down the road, they hit you with the full price from nowhere and you are like What! What they do is they retain your card number (which is illegal) to use it later, to give the impression you ordered it fresh. I used a prepaid car issued by a company called Global Cash Card or Meta Bank. I complained bitterly to the bank that the full amount they charged me was not authorized at all, but all to no avail. I made screen shots of all the promises they made, the receipt of the shipping cost, picture of the product I received after paying only the shipping cost they asked, etc., etc. The bank said everything was in order. I have never felt so helpless, naked, stupid etc etc in my life. Eventually, I gave up and closed my account with the bank. Now, I don't "mess" with email messages anymore. The same scam came back again using another company with the same scenario. I was now wiser. Beware of emails saying you won or qualify for a free gift for any reason, and that your only obligation is to pay for shipping using your credit or debit card. Many of them are scams. Later, unsuspectingly, they will hit you with the full price or more.
Amazoner
October 29, 2021
Received phone call from unknown person claiming to be from " Amazon ". Right from the start my caller I.D. identified the number as a call from a cellular phone. Caller then proceeded to inform me that they were an Amazon rep. and get the reason for their call was in regards to my prime account membership needing to be paid/renewed. Granted i pay for my membership annually. I reported call immediately.
Mad Shopper
November 02, 2021
Last week I had the same call regarding an Amazon hack. The person asked me so many questions I really became suspicious. I started asking my own questions and the person seemed to become nervous. They knew I knew so they hung up. My questions to them were mainly about their answers. If you go off script they don’t know what to say so they hang up. We got to the part where they requested access to my computer. I started laughing, they hung up. Another one bites the dust!! Haha.
Micarohr23
December 06, 2021
Just got that call from and this all was too weird… I refuse to believe that this was real.
2022
January 04, 2022
...been getting calls all morning from "Amazon" that there's an unauthorized purchase.... tried to get me to download the Any Desk App- which allows others to use your device remotely... They'll tell you to go to Amazon search for any desk and click on the big red circle with an arrow....