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Anatomy of an imposter scam banner

One way to spot a scam is to understand its mechanics. A new and complicated scam starts with a call or text message about a suspicious charge on your Amazon account. But it’s not really Amazon. It’s a scammer with an elaborate story about fraud using your identity that ends with you draining your bank or retirement accounts.

Here’s what to know about this scam scenario.

It’s not Amazon calling. Scammers spoof their phone number to make it look like it’s Amazon calling. Don’t trust the number in your caller ID and don’t trust what the caller tells you. Worried about a suspicious purchase on Amazon? Log in through the website or app. Don’t call back the number that called you or a number someone left in a voicemail or text message.

No one legitimate will tell you to keep it a secret. If there’s a problem with your account or identity, always talk about it with someone you trust — especially if the stranger on the phone says it’s serious or involves a crime or claims to be from the government. That’s a scam.

No one used your Social Security number to open fraudulent accounts in your name. Scammers say this to scare you — don’t trust the person on the phone. To know for sure, get an instant copy of your credit report online for free and look for accounts you don’t recognize. Visit (or have someone help you visit)

Don’t believe a caller who says you’ll be immediately arrested for account fraud. That’s a scam. If someone stole your identity to open fraudulent accounts, complete an FTC identity theft report at, then put an extended fraud alert on your credit report. Do not transfer money or drain your savings to protect it from fraud.

Did you get a call about suspicious activity in your Amazon account? It’s a scam. Hang up.

Our “Anatomy of an Imposter Scam” blog series breaks down how to recognize, avoid, and report business and government imposter scams. Read more.

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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.

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Paul 0
March 12, 2024

Scammer Sent Me this Message:
"Your Card Was Debited $743 For 0rder ID #907424 At #AmznStore On March-11-2024. To Stop This Transaction, CALL 1-844-408-3924 To approve reply (YES)."

March 12, 2024

In reply to by Paul 0

I just had a call from number877-372-3464 claiming to be amazon asking about a purchase

James Edward Hensley
March 15, 2024

In reply to by brian

Notify the U.S. Secret Service regarding the message you received. USSS handles Credit Card matters. The FTC does nothing except yak-yak with no counteractions ever taken.

FTC Staff
March 15, 2024

In reply to by James Edward Hensley

Read about FTC cases and enforcement at Go to for information about recent cases, the refund program, and warning letters sent to businesses. Read for the latest information about FTC actions, including this March 14 Press Release Tech Support Firms will pay $26 Million to Settle FTC Charges That They Deceived Consumers into Buying Repair Services.

March 15, 2024

In reply to by brian

I get these texts on a regular basis. I just block and delete them. It’s sad!

Robert Tompsett
March 15, 2024

I just got a call from a "Jack Thompson" (probably fake), he gave me a "#AMZ8355" claiming a purchase of over $1000.00 was made to my account for "earbuds" from Voice sound foreign. He did have my home address

March 28, 2024

In reply to by Robert Tompsett

I just had the same thing happen. Same name and similar case number given. He had my home address which I confirmed but gave no other information. Is there any follow up I need to do?

April 10, 2024

In reply to by Robert Tompsett

Same thing here. HOWEVER they used a valid local phone number from my area code and again a valid current phone number belonging to a local person here in my area.

Michael Bathrick
April 23, 2024

In reply to by Robert Tompsett

Same here, but it was a $1600 MacBook. The voice on the other end had a strong Indian accent, not a giveaway since Amazon uses Indian call centers. They eventually sent me to the "FTC", the person who answered spoke with a light Indian accent. I asked to speak with someone with an American accent and they hung up on me.

April 26, 2024

In reply to by Michael Bathrick

I just got this call today about a laptop. I followed through with them giving them fake info. I was bored. I picked up right away that it was a scam.

Robin Girgenti
April 19, 2024

In reply to by Robert Tompsett

Same thing happened here just now. She had my last 2 addresses, and told me an Apple mac book and earbuds were purchased for $2499.00 and that I had multiple accounts opened in my name. I gave her no personal information and told her I didn't believe a word of it. Asked her for a callback number (which I won't call of course) and told her I'd call the FTC myself. She called from 888-469-0528 and gave me a call back number of 202-202-1004. I did check my Amazon account and Amazon card and all was fine.

Laura Lee Sutherland
March 15, 2024

I have had several but not many lately. Texts is what I have received. I never go to the site they want me to. I just report spam and I don’t answer my phone. Thanks For the information

Valerie. Hartke
March 15, 2024

This report is exactly how I was scammed about 7 months ago. Very scary issue to deal with, Al because of a fear of going to jail. I reported my loss to the police told me that I would never get my loss back. To the tune of around 15,000. Large savings for me . I will never trust Amazon or any banks I think the rest of my life and feel very jaded, but still have a positive brain for now. Be wary and authentic at the same time, takes hard work with a purpose.

Scott Shirai
March 15, 2024

So true. And another way to screen such scams is to look at the amil address from which it was sent. All...or nearly all are from personal email addresses rather than from the company; i.e., etc.

Kenneth Myers Jr
March 15, 2024

I have been getting Norton Software by GEEK and AMAZON using my email address. Attempted to get AMAZON to get help and they don't have a contact for fraud. Who helps if AMAZON is too sorry to help?

Dorothy E.Bader
May 14, 2024

In reply to by Kenneth Myers Jr

Who do you call for help with Amazon. Not able to use customer service. They hung up on me when I didn't understand what they were talking about. I asked to speak with another person that could better explain the situation without the heavy accent.

Mel T.
March 15, 2024

Scamming is getting worse, almost daily. I cannot believe the number of scams that take place in our society, today. You don't know who to trust anymore. You have to spend money on programs just to protect you, There is not a day that goes by, where someone is trying to scam you. I have to pay for protection at a website just to be safe and warned about scams that are taking place. I have to buy protection software to be warned if the site I am going to is safe and it is not cheap. There are millions of unscrupulous people who want to do harm to you. It is like a crime ring. The internet used to be safe but now, you have to watch what is behind your back. A lot of these scams are run by crime syndicates. I am almost ready to chuck the computer and and find another means of communications.

Paula L
March 15, 2024

It happened to me about 3 months back. At first I thought it was real, but I started looking at my account with the scammer online. She wanted to send me a verification code which I promptly declined. I blocked the caller and changed all my Amazon password info just to be safe.

Sachin Kumar
March 15, 2024

Yes. Several times I have received such types of sms from reputed companies like McDonald, Honda, Uber to pay the bill amount against unknown purchases. One of the most worst thing is found on YouTube that it displays unknown's mobile number in awkward folk singer's audio/video songs continuously. The YouTube fans watch the video and start calling anytime on the shown contact number to talk to that offensive singer in an abrupt manner. However I have lodged my complaint against such malpractices but it hardly work. I am annoyed with such spam calls. Google should never allow anyone's contact number without proper verification. I hope the Government will impose heavy penalty against impersonation and polluting the digital environment. Thank you!

Douglas Walker
March 15, 2024

It would be nice if an email address was provided that scam emails could be forwarded to for reporting.

FTC Staff
March 15, 2024

In reply to by Douglas Walker

Report fraud, scams, and bad business practices to the FTC at this website: The information you give goes into a secure database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations.

Janet Z.
March 18, 2024

Thanks so much for this article. I got a call about a supposed suspicious Amazon purchase in my name. I got concerned when I was quickly connected supposedly to my bank (but I don't make Amazon purchases from my bank account) and supposedly to the FTC, and the person wanted a copy of my driver's license or else there might be an arrest warrant for money laundering. Then I immediately got a call supposedly from an NYPD precinct about an arrest warrant. I terminated the call. Now I know from your helpful article that I did the right thing.

Albert O.
March 19, 2024

In reply to by Janet Z.

Same thing happened to me today. Amazon to my bank to supposedly an FTC Officer.

March 19, 2024

I was subject to situation with PayPal about 6 mos ago. I made a purchase for a watch at I have used this shop about 10 yrs ago without any problem. What happened to me is per usual, I processed the purchase through my PayPal account. Within minutes of them processing the payment, I received txt messages from American Express and Chase bank with suspicious transaction alerts for suspicious activity for the amount of 44,99 in European euros which at the time was $54.67. I called each bank using the number off the physical credit card, confirmed suspicious activity advised them I did not authorize. While with the representative, I logged into PayPal saw to my horror 11 repeated sequential transactions for the same amt. They were systematically moving down each listed credit card in my PayPal acct posting the same transaction until the card shut them down. I quickly changed my PayPal password which shut down the process. Then had to spend a significant amt of time calling each bank that was affected to report the fraudulent activity. I called PayPal reported the fraud. It was by sheer luck I was off work that day. PayPal then sent me an email stating that they 'suspended' my PayPal acct and in order to reactivate it, they needed me to send over a copy of my driver license as a way to in the future authenticate any purchases processed through. I called them about this and they are standing firm....can you believe that?? In no way would an online purchase clearing house need a picture of me to authenticate purchases. It's not like they are going to video conference me and compare my face on the monitor with the picture on my driver license to authenticate a purchase....seriously? Needless to say, I have not complied and to this day have ceased all activity with PayPal. I cannot be sure whether or not they have become part of the online crime syndicate. AMX and Chase honored my case without question. Over the years, I have become a creature of habit, I never use my checking debit card for anything more than grocery purchases, and an armored guarded AMX card for anything online as they to me have the strongest anti-fraud policies. Also locked down my ID at the credit agencies so NO ONE can do so much as say 'hello' to me unless I unlock accounts for inquiry first, and then lock them back down. It's sad because I used PayPal as an added layer of protection between me, various purchasing sites, and my valuable financial sources.

March 21, 2024

I just recieved a call moments ago from "Amazon's fraud department" about a apple mac + airpod purchase - they said that they have record of me "renting" a home in a state that I've never ever lived in and that the social security department has an open investigation regarding a package that was delivered to the home I supposedly rent in NY that contain over $30K in cash + several fake passports/IDs..... I was like is this a JOKE? As soon as I told the foreign person that I was going to call Amazon directly about this and he realized that I was not taking the bait he disconnected the call.

Mary Lee
March 25, 2024

I received a call today, March 22, 2024, about an Amazon purchase that needed to be confirmed. Of course it wasn’t me. To make a long story short I was transferred 2 times. All 3 spoke with a foreign accent of which I commented on. He told me not to discuss with anyone and gave me his name and Badge # AND a case number. Per him accounts had been opened and used of $650,000.
I was told there was a warrant for my arrest. He said he was in Washington, D.C. and worked for President Biden. Come to find out it was ALL A SCAM! With this being said, BE CAREFUL!

Michael Lavelle
March 25, 2024

My bank,HSBC, contacted me on 29/2/2024 asking me to verify a payment of £39.99 to I was given a phone number to call, or altrnatively I coild go to a bank branch. I chose the latter. there discovered that a recuuring monthly payment for £39.99 to had been set up. HSBC had blocked this. We discovered that an earlier payment of £1 had been taken as a kind of test. This all happened after we had acquired a Toshiba Fire TV which reuired an Amazon account to set up. This account required a credit card nunber, email address etc. The £1 test withdrawal was made on the same day as the TV was set up.I do not believe this to be a coincidence. I have just received an email from saying that my membership was cancelled as requested. I have never made contact with or ever given them my email address. Presumably the fact that my bank had given me a new card led to this cancellation. The internet has information of many illegal transactions by this group, some people being defrauded of multiple payments. The same method is used each time. Good work HSBC.

April 02, 2024

727-516-5953 just called saying they're from amazon fraud department. Dude doesnt speak english and ive never had amazon anything.

brian m.
April 02, 2024

I dom't even have an account. Called me 4 times already.

Danielle Kirsch
April 02, 2024

+14807162621 just called that I had an apple Mac pro and airpods ordered on my account. Checked account nothing there. Just be aware

April 05, 2024

Got call today(Apr-4-2024) from (864)479-7907.
About amazon suspicious purchases.
It beeped once when i lifted that call and moreover he sounded Chinese/Korean/Japanese/Asian accent, had a hunch that it is Scam. (noticed this because same thing happen when insurance scam agents call)
Kept building story that someone opened 4 accounts and placed multiple order on my name for iphone, macbooks etc etc which is going to be delivered tomorrow and they want to help me cancel it. They asked which debit cards i use and kept building story and says debit cards starting with 4 and 5 were used to purchase this.( again hunch here, common man, anyone with my state details and my banking company details would guess that - just filter state and banking company - chase starts with 4 and bofa starts with 5 - clever but not smart).

My suspicions grew stronger, i started asking him many question, He told he will connect me to FTC (i knew which would eventually turn out to be another one of this agent). I told him that i can't trust him unless any proof and more over i can call FTC or raise complaint myself and dropped the call.

People this was my experience. Please be aware. Scammers got your old info - old address etc which will make you believe you are talking to right person. Always question yourself, what is happening here and how do he know your info. Please save yourself.

Anthony in som…
April 05, 2024

1-888-414-9183 3:16 pm 4/4/24 rcv'd automated call claiming an unverified party had completed a transaction of $2K+ for an iPad computer, instructing me to press # to authorize the purchase or press 1 to speak to an Amazon Cust Svc Rep for more info. After pressing 1 the call was transferred and greeted by an english speaking male with a non-american accent which sounded distinctly not middle-eastern, african, russian, or asian, but european of a hard to tell origin, maybe british, australian, irish or scottish, or also possibly scandanavian or dutch. In florida where I'm at I've met several tourists from scandanavian countries or amsterdam who speak remarkably clear good english with a barely an accent at all, and what little accent they had sounds slightly european but with not enough flavor to distinguish it (like a distinctly spanish accent or brittish accent, which are easily recognized by americans). The guy asked if he could help me. I found that strange. He didn't answer "Amazon Cust. Svc, my name is _______ may I have your account # and your first name, or similar, he just said "May I help you ? " So I told him I had been transferred to him, but mentioned nothing else. Guess what happened next. He says "Okay. Before now, how did you get transferred ? " So I said "I just answered my phone ringing to an automated message that informed me about a purchase of a computer (no details) on my Amazon account, and to press 1 to speak to a cust. svc. rep if desired, so I did, and that's how we're now speaking on this call." His reply to that ? He said "Well I think your best option would be to contact Amazon to inquire more about it." That's all he said. He didn't say "Is there anything else I can help you with" or ask any questions, or anything, he just replied that suggestion to contact Amazon and that was it. I was confused by that strange evolution of the discussion so I decided at that point to just cut it off. So I said "Okay, thank you" vanilla but politely, trying to give no indication of what I might have been thinking or feeling, and I just hung up. And that was the whole call. I find that very odd. It seems like the whole scenario could have been an automated robo-call ruse to see if the call got answered, if the # is active and answered by a human being. Remember at no time during the automated or live human call was I even asked my name, or any questions of any kind for that matter, other than "May I help you ?" They guy of the live human call never said "My Name Is and my customer svc ID # is "... or " Hello, you're now speaking with Amazon Customer Svc and my Customer Svc Agent ID #...." Nothing that identified or confirmed what company or what department they worked at, or even their name or agent ID #. That was the suspicious part. Legitimate Companies tell you who they are and most volunteer a customer svc agent ID #, and some inform you the call will be recorded. NONE of that on this call. Nothing except "May I help you ?" ...Most bizarre strange call in awhile. Best I can figure is an attempt to verify tele.# is active and answered by a person, not a device, machine, or voicemail. Even still, this is quite an elaborate fish story to tell just to verify the status of phone #, wouldn't you agree ?

Kelly Burchill
May 01, 2024

Got a call from phone number: 513-423-6745

Michelle Anderson 3356A&A1

April 15, 2024

I got a call from 847-830-8759 today from, "Amazon fraud department" informing me about a $1000+ charge on my Amazon account. Press 1 to dispute...

Tony Gladstone
April 15, 2024

Apparently, my Amazon Account has had a pre authorized amount for an Apple Imac Pro and some air pods.....
Good luck to you with that !
It only takes one to fall for this scam.....
Don't believe these scam calls folks!
Take care, if it sounds wrong, chances are it is wrong......

Karin Hulme
April 15, 2024

I received a phone call from (928) 813-8871 stating they were from Amazon and wanted to verify a recent purchase. Scam correct?

April 22, 2024

Received a phone call from so called Amazon Fraud department. She stated they are inquiring about a purchase on my account for an i mac laptop and apple earbuds that are out for delivery today to an address in Tennessee. (LOL) She asked me a bunch of questions about how I pay for things with my CC and I told her I use tap to pay for everything (I don't but wanted to fish her while I had her on the phone bc I knew she was a scammer). She stated that I had two Amazon accounts under my phone number (this is a lie you can only open one Amazon account using the same number). She want on and said she has to ask me some personal information and I stated OK. She asked me my DOB so I gave her a fake one (LOL). She then asked me my address again I gave her a fake one. I then told her that I don't see any type of transaction on my Amazon account and that I would reach out to Amazon directly. She stated the Amazon Fraud Department can not be reached directly. I told her OK I will call Amazon then and they will assist me directly. I told her that if there is an order that is being delivered today that is already in transit I would see that on my bank transactions and I don't. I then disconnected the call. Then number she called me from was 1-347-315-5041 the caller ID was New York, NY.
I then called Amazon to make sure all was good with my account and explained what happened. The agent took the information and verified my account was good. She stated that she will notate my account of the scam. She told me Amazon would never call about a possible fraudulent charge and that I am correct you can only set up one Amazon account with your phone number.

May 20, 2024

In reply to by Traci

Second attempt almost 1 month later.
Same thing order of apple products over $1400. Being delivered to an address in Memphis, TN.
He said the address was Dury Lane and then I asked him if that was the Muffin Mans Address? Sorry, I couldn’t resist. He said who? I said You Know The Muffin Man!! He definitely didnt get it! LOL
Anyway he said his Name was officer Nick this time. I asked him this time to please hold while I call Amazon with him on the line. He said I didn’t need to do that because he was Amazon. I said then you won't mind me calling! That is when the call dropped.
Phone called from 530-869-1504. CA number.

April 24, 2024

I received this text. It says from Amazon. Is this legit?

Someone signed-in to your account.

When: Apr 13, 2024 11:40 AM Eastern Daylight Time
Device: Generic Android 10.0 Android
Near: Florida, United States

May 01, 2024

In reply to by Eileen

I received a text with an authentication code for Amazon. I had not signed in to my account. Someone tried to sign in to my account. I changed my password and phone number. Deleted the text.

April 26, 2024

I wasn't able to view my order history on Amazon today. After multiple attempts, I finally googled to see if there was something wrong with the app. No "news". But a phone number for Customer Service - 415-907-5359. I called and explained my situation. The person on the phone asked me to hold while they checked my account. The next thing I knew she was telling me there was an Amazon business acct opened in my name/ssn, for over $12K and the delivery was coming tomorrow, to some address in NY. I live on the opposite side of the country. She then asked me a bunch of logical questions, had I travelled, given my info/login to anyone, made any purchases outside of my are recently, etc. NO was the answer to all the questions. Then she said she would assist me in filing an FTC fraud claim. She gave the the claim number and then said she was transferring me to the FTC. I waited on hold for approx 1 minute and then I was on the line with a man, stating that he was a Commissioner with the FTC and he was going to help me. I asked him to spell his name, which he did, and he said I could google him if I was concerned. Which I did! The name was a legit Commissioner. I was going along with it, until he asked for the last 4 of my SSN. And then I told him I would be calling my local police to come over to my house and assist me and I would call back. And I hung up. Before I was able to get off the phone, he started telling me he was going to give me a "ticket" for $20K for wasting an officer's time......

May 01, 2024

Someone has my email and passwords. I believe it is due to an AT&T data breach. (I didn't know about the breach.) I had spoken to someone regarding my AT&T account and he asked me to allow him to access my computer. I didn't think about it at first and allowed it. He wanted me to call him back at a different number. It was AT&T and they didn't recognize his name so I didn't follow up. He called me and was very rude. I hung up on him. Then, several days later, someone has been opening the same program (which I attempted to remove) and have been scanning my Amazon account and attempting to sign in. I received an authentication code each time. I think they have stopped trying because I changed my phone number and the password.

May 02, 2024

Received calls saying they from Amazon regarding my recent order but I haven't ordered anything in months, so I hung up .

Kathryn Romero
May 06, 2024

This number called said from Amazon purchase $1,000 on my cars. This number cane back to a person's voice mail. 707 718 1971. Thank you, Kathy Romero

May 07, 2024

I just got a text from someone saying that there was a purchase made that I didn’t make & they just wanted to ALERT me!😡 yes I called the number back & Surprise they didn’t even sound like a business you heard people in the background

May 07, 2024

I received a call from 318 650 6471 claiming they were Amazon and several accounts were created in my name and that they had used my social security number

Lucy Morey
May 08, 2024

`Amazon` sent emails saying my Amazon orders will be
cancelled until I download my I.D., credit card, and bank statements showing my Amazon purchases. My bank and
everyone else I've spoken to about this says it's a scam and
give them no PDFs of my documents. Not only has this
canceling of my Amazon orders persisted since beginning