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Amazon Flex drivers, watch your mail. The FTC just sent almost $60 million in checks and PayPal payments to eligible drivers who had their tips illegally taken by Amazon.

When customers placed orders through Amazon’s Prime Now or AmazonFresh services, Amazon asked “How much do you want to tip the courier?” Amazon told customers and drivers that “100% of tips are passed on to your courier.” But according to the FTC, from late 2016 through August 2019, Amazon illegally pocketed a big percentage of those tips.

The FTC just sent 139,507 checks totaling $59,428,878 and 1,621 PayPal payments totaling $171,715 to Amazon Flex drivers. Drivers who had $5 or more illegally taken by Amazon will get 100% of their tips returned to them. The highest award amount is $28,255 with an average of $422.

Here is more that drivers need to know:

  • Deposit or cash your check by January 7, 2022. If you have a question about your payment, call 1-800-654-8874.
  • Drivers getting checks of $600 or more will get a 1099 tax form with their payment. You should report this income on your 2021 tax return.
  • Visit www.ftc.gov/AmazonFlex for important information about your check.

Drivers also should know that scammers sometimes try to target people eligible for payments by impersonating the FTC and asking for money or account numbers. To protect yourself, remember that the FTC will never require you to pay upfront fees and won’t ask you for sensitive information, like your Social Security number or bank account information. If someone claims to be from the FTC and asks you for money, it’s a scam.

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