Don’t be fooled by phone calls about problems with your Amazon account — officials say the calls may not be what they seem.
Online shopping has skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic, with Amazon seeing a huge jump in sales since the onset.
Amazon Prime Day — the e-commerce site’s annual sales event — is just around the corner, and a new scam could put customers at risk.
Scammers are posing as Amazon workers and calling people claiming there’s a problem with their accounts, the Better Business Bureau said in a Friday scam alert.
Why? To steal your personal information.
“They’re targeting anybody with a phone. Whether it’s a business or whether it’s a somebody who doesn’t own their own company, you’re a target,” Lori Wilson, CEO of the BBB’s Oakland office, told KFSN.
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Here’s how the scam works
A recorded message that purports to be from Amazon explains that there’s a problem with your Amazon account such as a lost package, a fraudulent charge on your Prime card or an order for an iPhone 10 that can’t be fulfilled, according to the BBB.
“But no matter what the recording is, these scammers have the same goal: getting your personal information,” the BBB said.
Scammers will then ask for your login and credit card information or request remote access to your computer to solve the fake problem.
“Once you press one, you open yourselves up to whatever it is they’re wanting from you, your personal information, your Social Security, your bank, your driver’s license,” Wilson told KFSN.
To make matters worse, the scammers are also spoofing numbers used by the BBB to make it look like the calls are coming from credible sources, the BBB said.
How to tell if the call is a scam
While Amazon does occasionally call its customers, the company said it never asks for personal information in emails, text messages, or calls.
“Amazon will never send you an unsolicited message that asks you to provide sensitive personal information like your Social Security number, tax ID, bank account number, credit card information, ID questions like your mother’s maiden name or your password,” the company said on its website.
“Amazon will never ask you to make a payment outside of our website and will never ask you for remote access to your device.”
The BBB says to be leery of unsolicited calls and requests for immediate action, adding that scammers often create a sense of urgency in an effort to get their targets to act before they can think.
What to do if you receive a fraudulent call
If you receive a call from scammers impersonating Amazon workers, report the call to Amazon customer service, the BBB said.
“We take fraud, scam, phishing and spoofing attempts seriously,” Amazon said on its website. “If you receive correspondence you think may not be from Amazon, please report it immediately.”
You can also report the call to the BBB by filing a report at BBB.org/ScamTracker.