Don’t Fall For This Amazon Scam – Here’s What Happened to Me!

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woman with hands on face my macbook

Amazon scams are definitely on the rise.

As unemployment numbers are soaring due to the coronavirus pandemic, it seems that phone and online scams are on the rise including identity theft, virtual credit card skimming, and more. According to the FTC, Americans have lost over $150 million to fraud linked to COVID-19 since the beginning of the year, 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:

Hand holding playstation controller

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 scam email screencap

Amazon order emails typically come from <auto-confirm@amazon.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.

amazon scam email phone number

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.

screen cap of amazon chat window

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.

amazon shipping email

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.

AMAZON SCAM EMAIL

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?

hands holding iphone

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.

funny scammer guy

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. 🙄

woman smiling

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 fauxreal@amazon.com. 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 to order a case of Slim Jims to get me through this pandemic so I’m gonna need to order today.

amazon change password screen

“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. 😀


phone scam

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.

the word scam highlighted in book

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Don’t respond to texts, emails, or calls about checks from the government.
  3. Hang up on robocalls. Scammers are using illegal robocalls to pitch everything from low-priced health insurance to work-at-home schemes.
  4. Check the official FTC website and read through some of the current imposter scams and educate yourself on what to look for.
  5. 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.

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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Join The Discussion

Comments 183

  1. hip2trade

    I pretty much assume most emails are scam unless it’s something I know for a fact that I entered or ordered. I always check the return email address. Best tip is don’t click through any emails. My favorite scam email lately is that my PayPal is locked. Tragic. 😂 I worry about people like my mom though who barely know how to use the Internet. She may fall for these scams. Hopefully I have warned her enough about not clicking through them.

  2. Lana

    On the flip side, I have a mom that is so diligent that EVERYTHING is a scam. The Walmart mobile app? Scam. The pizza hut mobile app? Scam. McDonald’s? Scam. The list goes on. In trying to get her to use these apps to save money, but the woman is resilient.

  3. catmom

    I browsed thru the 153 replies to this post, but didn’t see the issue I had. Around August I received a package from a person in AZ. I don’t know this person, so thinking my CC was somehow hacked, called the company the item was from. ( if you’re wondering what the item was..it was a cheap plastic “Ginsu” knife). They confirmed the person in AZ sent the knife to me and only his CC info was on the order. The next day I get another package from a different company from the same person! This time it was the “World’s Best” brush for cleaning the tracks in my shower door! After confirming with this new company my CC was not involved, I decided to track down the person in AZ. Thank goodness he had a landline and was easily found online. I called him to explain the situation. He said his CC had been used before he could call the CC company to report it stolen. It was explained to him the thieves were testing the card with a few small purchases in his name to see if the card would go thru. How my name got shipped to is a mystery. Perhaps a stolen mailing list? The 2 companies involved told me to keep the items for my trouble. Im sure someone at Goodwill can use them🙂

    • Chris

      This sounds similar to something that happened to me in 2019. I got a call from a former boss that received a small package with my name on it – and wanted to know what to do with it. I hadn’t ordered anything recently so I asked her to open the box. There were nice earrings inside (she texted me a pic) along with an invoice with very limited information, but I had not ordered them or paid for them (I checked all of my credit cards to make sure). I told her she could keep them or whatever. I thanked her for her trouble and hung up – leaving me wondering what that was all about. I called my sister and a couple of friends to see if they had sent me earrings at my old job – they all said no. Two weeks later it happened again. My former boss sent me another text about another package for me that they received. I asked her to open it – it was another item I didn’t order. I googled “receiving unsolicited packages scam” and found a great article about it. They explain what is going on: “A ‘brushing’ scam is when merchandise is delivered by large online retailers, like Amazon or eBay, that host third-party sellers. The third-party seller will send merchandise to unsuspecting consumers and then write themselves a five-star review on their online store in the consumer’s name.” Here is the article: https://abcnews4.com/news/local/receiving-unsolicited-packages-what-to-know-about-brushing-scams

      In order for someone to write a review for a product, the product must be a “verified” order – and a verified order must have an order number and actually be delivered. So the online retailers are just using you (by sending you an order of their product- that you have no obligation to send back to them) so they can pose as a customer and write a 5-star review of THEIR OWN PRODUCT. Sneaky – and wrong.

  4. texasmomof5

    LOL. I had this happen in my early 20s with a company stating if I didn’t pay then they would sue me. Here I was a young mother, and wife living pay check to pay check completely scared and freaked out. Asked the man to call back when my spouse was home after I could research claimed charges. Long story short my husband ended up taking next call new immediately scam and harrassed them by calling them over and over for 6 hours. The scammer kept hanging up for some reason. Needless to say he received 4 calls in next 2 days by original scammer and his boss offering him a job! It provided me with some much needed real life education and us both a good laugh and story to tell. I’ve made a point as my child is now 17 to educate her on things “various real life situations”

    • texasmomof5

      Glad 2 see I am not the only one that gets freaked out when someone is calling and saying they are going to sue even if we know in the back of our minds that we know we do not owe, but that fear of did I forget about something and because of that now I am in big trouble!

  5. Jackie

    You are amazing! Thank you for taking the time to share your awesomely written story!! You are the best!!! <3

    • Angela (Hip Sidekick)

      Aww thanks Jackie! ❤️

  6. DirT

    Please watch Kit Boga on YouTube and twitch. He does scam baiting and keeps them on the phone for as long as possible trying to get as much info as possible.

    • mm15

      I used to watch Kit Boga!

  7. Alicia

    Got the same email. Ignore it.

  8. Evie

    Keep your phone turned off and don’t even bother reading most emails. Most are fraud or want money.
    If I make a phone call or read an email, some will try to call, in Hope’s I will pick up!
    People will leave voice mails if it is important.
    Now, more than ever it is important to make yourself unavailable!
    Trust me, none are giving anything away!

  9. Robin Holbrook

    Cut to the chase: call the merchant in question IMMEDIATELY and ask them…NOT THE SCAMMER and not my friends online!…If they sent the message or made the call. Why play the game with them? That is dumb and it gives them time to mess with your line or whatever. I don’t want to give them the satisfaction. I also call the FBI and ask if they want the number. They keep track of these fraudulent calls as it is a federal crime.

  10. Felix Anthony

    Just hung up the phone with this scam. After wasting the guys time for at least 15 minutes I said don’t you want my name? He said he had it I asked what it it. He says David. I said no that’s my son. Let me give you my name because this is urgent. He says OK what is it. I said ok I will spell it. G for girl, O for ohio, F for frank, U for umbrella, C for charlie and K for kite. Last Name is Y for young, O for ohio, U for umbrella, S for sam, E for elephant, L for love and F for forever! Of course after writing it out he realized I was on to him and got nasty with me. I had the last laugh!

  11. foofo

    I also receive so many emails that actually look legit. If you didn’t order it, check out the email, check out how they addressed you and NEVER CLICK ON ANYTHING IN THAT EMAIL. Also DO NOT answer numbers you do not recognize! We can all stop these scammers if we just become smarter than they. If the call is important than they will leave a message! Otherwise they were scammers! Block that number. These scammers even use numbers associated with a number close to your numbers as well as act like they are in the same city! Be aware!

  12. guppy

    1. You have a real telephone number, not a faked one.
    2. Find out what telco owns that number. Do a Google search to find sites that will tell you.
    3. Go to telco website, find fraud dept., and file a report.
    4. Call number 4 days later. Should be out of service.
    Yes, it’s like whack-a-mole, but the more hassle for them, the better.

    • cooper929

      They use virtual numbers now that literally disappear right after they call you. They are able to generate thousands of different phone numbers in a day. That’s why the Do Not Call lists and other reporting agencies can’t help anymore.

  13. Evie

    Since more and more fraud is available, can we really believe it is being investigated?
    Who passed the bill in Congress where these people can even call.
    The text messaging during the election was awful!
    With people starving, resources could be spent differently!
    Everyone is above the law unless you are a citizen.

  14. C

    @H2S as an FYI many scammers are getting their target lists from legit US and European companies who outsource their customer service or call centers to places like Jamaica or India (where they can pay lower wages)- these workers then saw an opportunity where they could either steal the lists for themselves or sell them to other scammers (these lists can include the most sensitive info like social security numbers! As places like debt collection agencies outsource) So they can make wayyyyy more money (they also don’t feel guilty about it at all, which is partly fueled by the fact that there’s still a HUGE misconception in many places in the world that Americans and Western Europeans are RICH … FILTHY RICH like Richie rich level.. but even presented with cold hard facts like a victim sending $6,000 which is their entire life savings and they are now homeless, the scammers have no remorse )….they did a documentary on it recently and it was very interesting- the USA is cracking down in Jamaica trying to track down the scammers, but the bigger issue is the problem will continue as long as companies outsource (like a roach infestation- you kill get one, but a million more are around) …. last time a scammer called our landline, I stayed quiet for about a minute while the scammer was confused why I wasn’t saying anything after I had pressed 1 to talk with a “representative from Apple”, then I gave a very loud blood curdling scream- I like to think he was out of commission for a while after I screamed in his ear lol

  15. ami

    No email but a phone call this am. Same scam just a different game

  16. Jo

    Got the Amazon fake email three times already within 6 weeks. Can forward to Amazon spam email address and then delete.

  17. Chuck

    Need to send all their information to Google and have them shut down these clowns email addresses

  18. Marty

    I got an email from a college classmate. It was his email address. The email said he was having trouble accessing his Amazon account and the email asked if I would use my Amazon account to get a gift card for his granddaughter which he would reimburse me later and if i would do that he would send me her email address to send the card to.

  19. Natalie Tilsley

    I always get a telephone call from Amazon saying that they are going to take at least £70 out of my my Bank account, I don’t have an account with this company and I never will, they are a nightmare

  20. Scott Macdonald

    I have voice-mail right now from guy claiming he is with Amazon fraud prevention and gives number to call him back of course different than one he is calling from. I get so may spam calls. I made mistake of joining online PCH Prize contest. Seems scammers knows PCH too and I pr answered them thinking it was PCH now I get so .any come on for everything g under sun.

  21. Dru

    Omg!!! Julia Roberts,Lol !They always call about my extended warranty… and I say :”Really??? , That’s Odd,! Because I drive a 10 speed:)”

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