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.
Stay informed! Check out the latest information on data breaches, recalls, product launches, store closures, and more!
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.
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🙂
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.
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”
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!
You are amazing! Thank you for taking the time to share your awesomely written story!! You are the best!!! <3
Aww thanks Jackie! ❤️
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.
I used to watch Kit Boga!
Got the same email. Ignore it.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
@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
No email but a phone call this am. Same scam just a different game
Keep getting calls telling me they are from Amazon wanting my account info OR trying to get me to confirm something I never purchased (I can not tell you how tired I am of this BULL) I keep getting these calls every few weeks! Either the phone is a 800 or some area code I don’t know. I got to the point I let them have it with my Swedish/Italian back ground which probably melted their end of the line then called Amazon and tell them it’s happening AGAIN!!
Got the Amazon fake email three times already within 6 weeks. Can forward to Amazon spam email address and then delete.
Need to send all their information to Google and have them shut down these clowns email addresses
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.
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
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.
Omg!!! Julia Roberts,Lol !They always call about my extended warranty… and I say :”Really??? , That’s Odd,! Because I drive a 10 speed:)”
send your info to to email@example.com
I am curious if anyone knows what they are trying to get in the end? My mother did call a phone number that came in a text today saying you just bought a 2400 computer and if this is not you contact us and she clicked the link (even though I tell her repeatedly to not click any links in any emails or texts) and she gave some of her information like phone number and not sure what else. I am trying to figure out what I should be doing to make sure she is safe? We checked her amazon account and her bank online and both are fine. Any other recommendations for what someone should do if they actually shared some info?
Same thing happened to me, Amazon asking me about my 1000.00 Apple Mac Book purchase, confirmed this is my phone number, told me to hold while they connected me to my bank, I don’t have a bank acct.
I just received a call from “Amazon” asking me if I ordered a PS4 from Ohio. First they told me my name and asked if that was whom they were talking to. I didn’t see much harm in this (plus I am deliriously sick), so I said yes. Then, I said I didn’t order a PS4, so they said they would cancel it. They didn’t ask for any more info, but they suggested I change my password. I then called (the real) Amazon, who of course had no such record (they don’t do phone calls). I’m now actually *reluctant* to change my password (paranoid maybe they have some hack where they don’t have my personal data now but can get it if I go through Amazon and change my password). Oh, also one thing I always notice about these is they ask me how many phone calls I’ve received so far on this, which I’ve noticed the scammers do.
Did “Pete from Amazon” have a heavy foreign accent? I wonder because every time I hear about “call center” calls like this I think of Raj on “The Big Bang Theory”. In one episode he mentions talking to his cousin Ashwani – “Or as you may know him, ‘Steve from AT&T Technical Support'” 😀
Don’t enter personal credit card numbers with Amazon, you will eventually get scammed with Ghost charges and be forced to deal with totally inept and absolutely dumb Amazon representatives. Rebuild community and Cut Amazon out of your life and the credit exposure they cause. Amazon Is A Logistical Nightmare
My wife received an e-mail stating she owed 6000.00 for an order she didn’t order in which she got very angry with a person on the phone. What should she do to remove the scam
So I received these paper gift cards from AIMILIA with my leggings I bought on Amazon. The cards say right in them “Please contact costumer service to activate” below that gives their firstname.lastname@example.org, so I sent them an email, and received a replay fairly quickly. They asked me for my order # to verify I purchased my purchase of their leggings. Is this a scam?
Thank you, this happened to me today. Freaked me out a bit until I realized it was coming from a gmail account. Email was a confirmation of a gaming laptop I had supposedly purchased and was going to a woman in Missouri and I am in Kentucky. So I didn’t call the number. I did report the account but I doubt it will help anything.
I know this is an old post, and a reminder so I don’t know if this comment will get seen, but I’ve gotten 2 CALLS in the last couple of weeks with the “we are calling about your recent iphone purchase in the amount of around $800. Please press 1 if this is not a purchase you have made. I don’t press anything ever with these emails so the call hasn’t gone any further… but man it would be really easy to react!
Yes! They sure can be tricky! Thanks for commenting, Margaret!
I’ve received this emails several times. I disregard them but it makes me angry to think that an elderly person could receive it and easily fall for this scam. I have a Prime account and let my older family members know that I have no problem placing orders for them, so they have no need for their own account and there’s no possibility of falling victim to this. I wish there was a way to crack down on these. I’ve seen a huge increase since Covid.
I love playing head games with them. Some guy on facebook told me that he wanted to give me money and I told him I didn’t need it. He kept saying I didn’t understand him as he wanted to give me free money. I told him I didn’t need free money and he needed to give it to someone that did need it. I told him my dad died (he did) and left me 500,000 dollars (he didn’t) so I was good. I made $5000 a month at my job (didn’t) and I had my military retirement (didn’t) and retirement from the state (true) so I was good. He got so frustrated and I deleted and blocked his messages. It was a fun 5 minutes. I loved hearing how frustrated he got.
I literally got the unauthorized amazon purchase 2 minutes ago. I didn’t answer because it came up as scam on caller id, it was even from my local area code. The voicemail said they were calling about an unauthorized purchase. I guess I should have played along lol.
Oh wow! Thanks for sharing! Glad it popped up for you as scam!
I’ve been getting calls weekly that someone has fraudulently ordered on my Amazon account as well.
Worth noting since the article indicates the scammers called back: Blocking caller ID does not work with 800 numbers, so if you decide to call a scammer under the cover of blocked caller ID, pay attention to the number you are calling. If the first digit is 8, they will see your number regardless.
I love it when I get these. Given my Amazon bill each month (I don’t go in stores if I can help it), I go “Please, please PLEASE cut off my Amazon access”. I think if I stopped ordering Amazon would send the Police to my house to do a welfare check.
All my calls go unanswered unless it’s a relative or a known individual. Problem solved. Voicemail is great.
Same here. I haven’t answered unsaved numbers in years, if it’s actually for me they’ll leave a message and I’ll call back.
Would checking the actual amazon account and see your orders help? That’s what I would go 1st. If it doesn’t show there in your real Amazon account then you should know the email is fake. What gets me are the gas stations. So many people getting their credit cards hacked after using the pumps. Is there anything we could do to avoid that besides paying with cash?
This morning I received an email stating my account has been locked and I cannot place anymore orders until my credit card and billing information “match up”. Funny as how I just placed an Amazon order though and it did go through. I called the real cs number for Amazon and they said it was probably a scam as well but what is confusing to me is that the email came from email@example.com and not a Gmail address. They’re getting really tricky nowadays..😬
I’m not easily scammed but annoyed easily. People have been calling us 6-8 times a day somedays from “Amazon” and the 3-4 emails and voicemails on cell and home phones!
Block it on cell phone and they find another number and call again !
Thank you for sharing your experience! Too many people fall victim to scams like this. And the scammers are getting better at their attempts!
The number #1 rule when dealing with scammers is never, ever, ever reply. Then they know they have a live one and the spam and scam will increase.
I have two-factor authentication on my online accounts. It can be bothersome but noone can get in my account without the code from my phone to log in.
I got a robo-call last week from somewhere overseas. Something about a $515 Amazon order that I didn’t order. I needed to call some random 800 number right away or my “PLASTIC” card will be charged. Um, yep, sure. Which PLASTIC card I do not know. Glad I let all my calls go to voicemail! They just don’t stop!
Did anyone get it in a text message today?
So my Alexa device is named Echo. I often get annoying calls on my landline and cell phone from scammers. Once I got an automated call saying my iphone 11 cell phone was being shipped from Amazon and that something needed verifying(I had not ordered a phone) anyways, I followed the prompts to speak to a live person, while the person came on the line, I will ask my Echo dot to bark like a dog, fart, make burping sounds or just play some wild music! They will always 100% hang up! I figured instead of getting mad at these annoying scammers, I will just get in a good laugh at their expense.
Thank you. I have had the Amazon scam a few times. I actually talk to a real Amazon employee just to verify it is a scam and my account is okay. When I do get a robo call, they ask me how I am, I ask about the weather. Nothing is said and I hang up and block the number. Some people have too much time on their hands. Thank you again
If ur name is not there…its a scam
I have had 2 scams related to Amazon, the first one was a phone call to my landline which is not associated with my Amazon account. Another one was an email for something I did not buy and it was not the email account I use for Amazon. The email I sent to Amazon’s phishing dept where they said they would look into it.
Such a Remarkable and Timely article!
I get the phone calls all the time telling me that there has been a suspicious $729 charge on my Amazon account and if I didn’t make this charge to press 1. I press 1 when I am in the right mood. When they answer and say Hi…blah blah what I can help you with? I respond, “I don’t know, you called me.” Then they will insist they didn’t call me the automated system called and it looks like I have a bogus $729 charge on my account…. (it is always $729) I have followed this one through a couple times and they want you to go to a website where they connect to your computer and/or enter your account information. But what my favorite thing to do is just start asking them really odd questions like, “What color underwear are you wearing?….” “Did you take a shower today?” “Do you like tuna fish?” and when I am not in a great mood I ask them if their parents are ashamed of them since they apparently so pathetic they can’t get a job better than scamming people out of their money. I figure if they are going to call and waste people’s time, they should get a little guilt trip while I waste theirs.
A friend got one that was supposed to be from Apple Support and her account had been hacked and they needed to check her computer. She almost allowed it to happen but called me instead. I reminded her that Apple over a Billion customers. No one from support has time to be calling you.