Don't miss a deal!

Subscribe to our newsletter.

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

Hip2Save may earn a small commission via affiliate links in this post. Read our full disclosure policy here.

More Amazon

woman with hands on face my macbook

As unemployment numbers are soaring due to the coronavirus quarantine, 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 $13.4 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 scams are out there.

Here’s how I dealt with an Amazon imposter:

Hand holding playstation controller

I recently 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 gmail email

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). 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 screen cap

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.


🚫Red Flag #5: Weird formatting.

amazon scam email side by side with real 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?

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.

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 quarantine so I’m gonna need to order today.

amazon change password

“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.

scam

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.

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 a scam.


Here’s how to check the status of your stimulus payment online.

Join The Discussion

Comments 99

  1. NikkiLLM5

    Me and my hubby used a friend that many of our friends were using that claimed to be a cpa. She was a very religious and well known lady in the community so we finally used her to do our taxes 2 years in a row. Come to find out she was lying on everyone’s taxes to get them great refunds. So the actual IRS sent us a letter saying we owed them $10,000 back! I almost died! And it was legit. But during the process of us seeking counsel from our original CPA firm and a lawyer we started getting calls from the “IRS” telling us we had to pay back money or we would go to jail or have our home and cars taken from us. It was so ironic that the scammers started calling us when we were having a legit issue with the IRS. We never sent any money or gave any info over the phone. Thankfully I had the sense to tell them to send me everything in writing that I wasn’t comfortable giving out info over the phone. And I was getting statements from the IRS at the time. It went on for over 6 months with the harassing calls and voicemails. This was when scammers had first started with the IRS scam. But I didn’t even tell the cpa or the lawyer about the calls. I did show them all the statements I got from the legit IRS. I finally mentioned to a cousin what was going on and we hadn’t even told our parents. She told me it was a scam and happened to her about a year earlier. So then I had the nerve to ask our cpa and they confirmed that the IRS NEVER makes phone calls! I suffered and almost had a nervous breakdown because the scammers just happened to start harassing us at the perfect timing when we were having legit issues with the IRS! The entire thing still seems crazy to me. In the end the friend that pretended to be a cpa ended up on America’s most wanted for a year along with her husband before turning themselves in. I can’t remember how many years they have to serve in prison but they are still serving their sentence. And because the IRS was able to prove it wasn’t any fault of the people like us who trusted her we thankfully didn’t have to pay back a dime. To this day I still can’t believe the timing fell so perfectly. Makes me wonder if some of the scammers might be on the inside too. 🤷‍♀️

  2. Mona

    It is several years since I ordered from Amazon but I placed a small order and charged it on my credit card. The order went through and the pending charge appeared on the credit card account page. The next day I received an email from “amazon” to say the charge had been declined and I needed to update my info. The credit card website showed the charge had gone through. So I too am wondering if there is someone on the inside as the timing was just right. Obviously a fishing attempt.

    • Leslie Sawich

      Yes I had just placed an order for a book. Then I got the email about the washer and dryer. Hum

      • D

        We placed an order a few years ago. It was from a third party person on Amazon. We use virtual account numbers through Citibank and Discover. They can only be set to use on line for a set amount and a set time period. However, the third party came back and tried to charge an astronomical amount on our charge card. Thankfully we were protected, but the possibility is there. Please alert Amazon to all these happenings.

  3. C

    I assume “Pete” was from India with an Indian accent as many of these scammers are

    • Brian

      Why? Please flag this unintentionally (I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt) insensitive and unnecessary comment that promotes xenophobic connotations and hate.

      Helpful article otherwise; Thanks, Angela.

  4. Leslie Sawich

    Thanks so much!! Great info. I got an email saying someone in Moscow Idaho ordered a washer and dryer. I did panic. But had time to calm down and found your page. Makes me feel better. My sister last year got scammed. They are supposed to call back. I will ignore it.

  5. ThriftyPuppy

    Please don’t be tempted to click on or go to these fake websites. Hopefully, all the one that the poster visited did was ask for payment information. Many of them are malicious and will attempt to infect your PC – in some cases, with “fileless” malware that is undetectable by traditional antivirus. I also don’t recommend that you try to “catch” the scammers, lecture them or otherwises provoke them. I know of at least 1 person where they did and the scammers made their lives a living hell. I’ve been in information security for over 20 years and I always tell our employees “curiosity killed the cat”. I know it’s tempting, but just don’t do it.

  6. Sue

    My daughter got a call a few years ago and fell for it. They said she owed money for her internet schooling and that she needed to pay for it immediate and threatened her that she gave her bank account number and they completely wiped it out. Then a few weeks later tried to do the same but this time she didn’t fall for it. Sad thing is there is no way she can get her money back.

  7. ella

    It’s hard to keep up with the scams because we lead such busy lives, it’s easy to try to take care of something quickly and fall for it. My sister came close. Luckily, she had given me her credit card because she wanted me to buy my kids a couple back to school outfits last year. She called me saying she needed the security code off the back because she got an email saying her card was breeched. She was about to call using the number on the email and I told her use the phone number on the card to call them directly. Turns out, there was no breech, the scammer hoping she would reply to that number and give her info up. Even if they get the name of your bank right…. if it’s a big name like Bank of America, they just send out emails to many people knowing the odds of someone having a Bank of America or Citibank card is high.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

It's not your Grandma's coupon site!

Sign up for a Hip2Save account (it's free) to access all of the awesome features!

Forgot Password?

Don't have an account? Register

Forgot Password

Don't have an account? Register

Become a Hip2Save Insider

Don't Miss Out! Join our large community of insiders - it's totally free! Once you join, you'll be able to save & share your favorite deals, rate posts and recipes and add items to your cookbook! What are ya waiting for?!

Already have an account? Login

Become a Hip2Save Insider

Don't Miss Out! Join our large community of insiders - it's totally free! Once you join, you'll be able to save & share your favorite deals, rate posts and recipes and add items to your cookbook! What are ya waiting for?!



Already have an account? Login

Thank you for rating!

Would you also like to leave us a comment?