Don’t Fall For This Amazon Scam – Here’s What Happened to Me!
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Amazon scams are definitely on the rise.
As unemployment numbers soared over the past year due to the coronavirus pandemic, it seems that phone and online scams have also been on the rise including identity theft, virtual credit card skimming, and more. According to the FTC, Americans have lost over $382 million to fraud linked to COVID-19 since last year when the pandemic started. in addition to the millions of dollars that are scammed every day related to online shopping, credit cards, and phony IRS bills.
Y’all might want to grab a cup of coffee ☕️ and maybe even a snack 🍿 because my story is going to be kind of long, but I think it’s important to know these Amazon scams are out there.
Here’s how I dealt with an Amazon imposter:
I received an email that appeared to be legit at first glance, but it wasn’t… it was in fact a total scam. I thought I’d share my experience with you and give a few tips on what to look for in order to keep your information safe and to avoid being scammed.
I received an email “from Amazon” that stated a Sony PlayStation had been shipped to an address in California. Oddly enough, I knew the exact area as I used to live in a neighboring city. My first thought was, “oh man, someone has hacked my Amazon account and I should call.” Luckily this “official” email had all of the information I needed in order to take care of it. 🙄
🚫Red Flag #1: At a closer glance, I noticed that the email originated from a Gmail account instead of from @Amazon.com.
Amazon order emails typically come from <email@example.com>, and definitely NOT a Gmail account!
🚫Red Flag #2: “If you did not place this order” is never in the verbiage that Amazon uses when sending out shipment notifications.
This has never shown up on ANY of my previous Amazon order details… something seemed very off about this!
🚫Red Flag #3: Oh look! There’s a handy dandy phone number for me to call about my fraudulent order.
Wait a minute, Amazon will never mention in their emails that you should call them if you didn’t place an order. There isn’t even a phone number included in the emails that they send. I think I’ve called them maybe once in the 20+ years I’ve been a customer (and it took forever to find the number to call). This is a definite way to be able to tell if it’s an Amazon scam.
In fact, Amazon doesn’t want you to call, it’s much easier (and faster) for them to handle your issues via their online customer support chat.
🚫Red Flag #4: Currently, Amazon emails do not include the full address in the shipment confirmation email, only the city, and state.
The fraudulent email has the entire address right there so that the recipient will see it and instantly think OMG I didn’t place that order, leading you to possibly call their fraudulent hotline. Total Amazon scam.
🚫Red Flag #5: Weird formatting.
As you can see from my screencap, Amazon shipment emails are currently formatted with this box set up with concise information about your purchase. The fraudulent email contains just way too much information. They want you to react based on the email alone and NOT go to your Amazon account.
I shop on Amazon almost every day (so much so that I may need an intervention), so from the look of the fraud email it seems they have mimicked the cart page from Amazon and not the shipment email, nice try scammers.
So what did I do knowing this was an Amazon scam?
I like to get to the bottom of things and these scammers make me so angry, so I decided to call their “Amazon Hotline”. When my call was finally answered, it was a computer-sounding voice.
After pressing 1 to speak to someone, the phone rang several times. I imagined a random dude on the other end, sitting there in a tank top and boxers eating Funyuns and drinking a PBR waiting for someone to call.
Finally, a guy answered and even threw in the pleasantries of asking me how I was doing and thanking me for being a valued Amazon shopper for two years. Hold up, I haven’t given you any information, my caller ID is blocked but you know how many years I’ve been shopping? Nice try pal, I’ve been with Amazon for decades, but whatever. 🙄
He then asked me for my order number and I replied with 123456-7892020, asked my name and I told him Julia Roberts (go big or go home, right?!). He asked for my email and I replied with firstname.lastname@example.org. He clearly could not have cared what I said, because even with the fake email, fake name, and fake order number, he was magically able to pull up “my” PlayStation order.
He then said, “your order is due to arrive by Friday, did you place this order or was this someone else making a fraudulent purchase with your account?” Wow, I’m not sure I’ve ever been asked that by any customer service rep I’ve ever spoken with from any company.
I played along and said, “OMG I did not place that order! Please cancel it, whatever shall I do?” My sarcasm was clearly lost on “Pete from Amazon”. Luckily “Pete” was super helpful and gave me the name of a website (not Amazon) that I need to go to and enter my payment information to update it.
Sadly, he told me that my Amazon account would need to be locked for two days while they investigate. But don’t worry, once we have your updated payment information we can start the process to reinstate your account. Listen here “Pete”, I need access to my account pronto, I don’t wanna miss any great Amazon deals, so I’m gonna need to be able to place orders today.
“Pete” was also so helpful and was going to give me information on how to change my Amazon password – but on a different portal than Amazon. Man, the help never ends with this guy, shout out to “Amazon” for hiring such a stellar employee! I was trying to keep him on the phone as long as I could because I knew every minute I had him distracted was another minute someone else might not be scammed. I was working so I just kept typing away while he carried on with wanting me to give him info.
After a while, I had enough and I informed “Pete” that I knew he was a scammer and he needed to stop. He acted heartbroken that I would think that and kept asking me “what do you mean a scam?”.
In my best I need to speak to the manager voice, I gave “Pete” a few choice (but clean) words and told him to stop scamming people. Sadly, “Pete” hung up on me. Dang, maybe I should call Jake from State Farm so I’ll have someone to talk to. 😀
On further research, it seems that the same phone number has also been tied to a social security scam, the website I found even had the audio sample from the phone call. I’ve gotten those before and played along, giving fake numbers, and even kept one on the phone for over an hour while I was working. He assured me that I was going to jail if I didn’t comply with his instructions. 🤣🙄
Oddly enough, as I was writing this post, I received a phone call from “Pete from Amazon”, he even gave me his (faux) Amazon employee ID. He wanted to call and follow up on my call yesterday and find out if I’m ok and if I still need the information on how to change my payment information. Nah man, I’m good, you’re a scammer. Once again I broke his heart and he hung up on me. I’m guessing blocking my caller ID didn’t work.
So friends, please be extra vigilant when you suspect an email or phone call is one of these scammers.
Also, speak with senior citizens that are friends or family about these type of scams. Many times they prey on older people who may not know that it is a scam. A friend of mine was recently telling me how her elderly mother-in-law was scammed out of $1500 in gift cards and the hacker even gained control of her computer remotely. 🙁
Here are a few ways to protect yourself from online/phone scams:
- Slow down. It’s natural to panic when you receive a phone call or email that leads you to believe your information has been compromised. Give yourself a little time to do your research and to check your account to see if unauthorized purchases have been made.
- Don’t respond to texts, emails, or calls about checks from the government.
- Hang up on robocalls. Scammers are using illegal robocalls to pitch everything from low-priced health insurance to work-at-home schemes.
- Check the official FTC website and read through some of the current imposter scams and educate yourself on what to look for.
- When in doubt ask friends online. I’ve seen many people ask about weird calls or emails via posting on Facebook. You’ll quickly find that many of your friends have possibly received the same email as well.
- Pay it forward by reporting scams. One helpful reader mentioned forwarding any suspicious emails to the Amazon fraud department at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org for PayPal fakes.
Stay safe friends!
These are crazy times we are living in, I hope that this information was helpful and will possibly prevent you from being a victim of an Amazon scam.
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The most recent one i got was that a LARGE LOTTERY WINNER
picked 20 lucky people to give them. $20.000 each. WITH an actual video showing them winning. It said to call their business manager to verify it and the info of where you do your
Banking so they can ” change your life”. I called the business guy and then sent them a shame-on-you!!! letter( i realize was for my benefit) but as soon as he asked what my checking acct info and my ssn # was i just hung up.
Boy that 20.000 woulda been a Godsend ….too bad i didnt give him my info LOL. Your article was great. Ive found living by my Grandpa’s old adage”Nothing is free”has served me well.
I got a call today from Amazon Security Department today( 🙂 ) saying that sombody made iPad Pro purchase of 729$ and they have held the order. He asked me to install AnyDeskc.com and download an app in my mac and let them remote control my computer. They also said if I did not do this in 45 mins time, my order would go through and i would be charged the money. haha.
I dragged him on and on, asked some funny questions such as which amazon team he is from, what is his badge ID etc. Also, put him on hold for 5 mins telling him that I am getting my laptop to install anydesk 🙂
Ultimately asked him which account and email id that my amazon account was linked to – he again went back to i would lose my money discussion, and finally he gave up.
I got a phone call from 909-265-9548 this morning, and and the computer generated lady voice said I ordered several iphone 13 of 256GB memory, and the total amount is more than $3000 and shipped to Tennessee.
It offer one option to press 1 to talk to Amazon customer service. so I did. Another lady with Asian accent just asked for my order number. I told her I was transferred in in seconds and did not have time to memorize the long number.
She said you pressed 1 to get in and you should know your number before that.
When I tried to explain, she just hung up.
What a bad employee in a scam playing company, must be fired or punished. Shall show a greedy attitude to money and the potential victim, and that is how to grow the great scam business worldwide regardless the obvious Taiwanese accent.
I decided to play more with the scammer, and dial back at the number, and Verizon told me the call can not be completed instantly.
It reminds me some scammer use phone number that does not exist or in use, but my phone just shows the number. Not sure if my phone company can do something to stop that.
I just got a phone call from Amazon, saying that someone made an un-authorized purchase of a $700.00 iPhone using my Amazon account, and yes, whoever made the call used a robocall, I really wish that all Law Enforcement agencies of every country on this planet would band-together to catch and prosecute these whackjobs who perpetrate these scams, and shut them down for good.
My mom just got an email like this for her order of a PlayStation 5. I heard her on phone getting frustrated so I took over. I told him that I know his email is fake and that I would check the real Amazon to be sure there was no ps5 ordered. Then I responded to his gmail saying, stop scamming old ladies!!
Pete called me up and told me that my Amazon account for prime TV cot $150 for5 years and $100 for two years. I was ready to pay the $150 for 5 years when he asked me what credit card to take the funds from. He had the last four digits of my card and asked my to supply the other numbers to verify. I said” If you have the numbers why are you asking me?” I realized something wasn’t kosher and told him I would call back. He had changed my password and was trying to collect my payment information. Keep your eyes and ears open to these people.
Managers are often confused about how to conduct a performance review, and as if things weren’t