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How to avoid Amazon scams — 5 tips you need to know

Amazon sells hundreds of billions of dollars worth of products to consumers every year. Chances are you’ll get at least a few bucks out of your pocket.

Unfortunately, popular retail markets like Amazon and eBay attract scammers who want to trick shoppers into using their money, personal information, or both.

Frauds taking advantage of Amazon’s influence have increased. Amazon impersonators, unrelated to the actual company, successfully scammed 96,000 people out of more than $27 million from July 2020 to June 2021. Seniors are disproportionately affected, with a reported median loss of $1,500.

And this is just one type of Amazon-related scam. Criminals have found many creative ways to steal Amazon customers.

Here are some red flags to watch out for when shopping on Amazon or when contacting anyone who claims to be Amazon.

What are the most common Amazon scams?

One of the most common scams you come across is Amazon impersonation scams. According to the Federal Trade Commission, 1 in 3 people targeted by business identifiers report that scammers claim to be from Amazon.

These plans may include “Amazon Representatives” who offer to refund your purchases, claim that you have deposited more money into your bank account than you owe, and ask you to repay “Overpayments”.

In another situation, scammers claim that you should protect your Amazon account from hackers by purchasing a gift card and providing your card number. In either case, all you have to do is pay the scammers not affiliated with Amazon with your own money.

The FTC has also warned Amazon customers about fake phone scams that leave callers with a recording stating that there is a problem with their Amazon account. To fix this, you’ll be prompted to enter a number to press a button to connect to customer service or call back.

In either case, the scammer is trying to trick you into sharing your Amazon password or payment information. These scammers can often spoof your caller ID, making it look like it’s from the Amazon customer service team.

A similar type of Amazon scam is an email scam. You will receive an official email from “Amazon” claiming that there is a problem with your account and requesting you to update your payment information. Or, the email appears to be a delivery confirmation for an order that you didn’t. Alternatively, you will be prompted to verify your account.

Again, scammers want you to disclose sensitive information that could access your account or credit card by clicking on a link or calling the number provided.

Amazon gift card scams go far beyond simple business identity theft. Amazon has compiled a complete list of related scams that allow you to pay a fee or hand over your Amazon gift card number to make a purchase.

  • Social Security Fraud. Scammers claim to use Amazon gift cards to solve the social security number problem.
  • job fraud. Unsolicited senders insist that Amazon offer to work from home and then pay for admission via gift card.
  • Fake online listings. Merchants on all sites request to pay for their products with an Amazon gift card.
  • Boss scam. Impersonating your boss or scammers texting or emailing you asking them to purchase Amazon gift cards as employee incentives or customer gifts.
  • Unpaid Debt or Tax Fraud. Similar to social security scams, you will be asked to pay off a false debt or fee using your Amazon gift card.

Of course, Amazon customers are not immune from Amazon’s own fraudulent third-party sellers who use Amazon Marketplace listings to steal buyers. Scammers are known to instruct buyers to make bank transfers or other payments outside of Amazon, which voids your protection.

Similarly, Amazon Marketplace sellers can offer counterfeit items at prices that are too good to be true. Send the wrong product or package with the wrong name. Or simply don’t send a purchase. All of this is not much different from eBay scams that customers should be wary of.

How to Avoid Amazon Scams – 5 Things to Watch out for

Many Amazon scams take the form of phishing. Phishing can be used by criminals to trick users into providing their personal or payment information, thereby stealing their money or identity. Another major type relates to retail fraud in the platform marketplace.

Here are 5 things to keep in mind to avoid being scammed.

  1. Do not use gift cards for purchases, fees or refunds. Legal transactions take place on legitimate platforms. According to the FTC, if someone asks for the number on the back of a gift card, you are cheating.
  2. Do not contact or transact with anyone outside of the Amazon site.
  3. Please do not call any phone numbers associated with your account or click on links in emails. – Especially if the sender or email message seems urgent. If you need to contact Amazon, find the appropriate customer service number on the company website or use our online chat. Amazon also has specific guidelines for verifying the legitimacy of emails, text messages, and phone calls.
  4. Don’t click on links in text messages without paying close attention to the sender. Amazon sends gift cards via SMS, but only to one number, 455-72. Any other number is a scam.
  5. Be careful when shopping from Amazon third-party vendors. Linda Sherry, Consumer Action’s Director of National Priorities, advises shoppers to do their due diligence before simply looking for a good deal.

“I’d say don’t buy from sellers who don’t have as many good reviews from ‘verified buyers’ as the website shows,” says Sherry. “Train your ‘pinching sense’ to read descriptions and reviews and read between lines about a product’s value when needed.”

Legitimate sellers will disclose the product, product defects and price, she added.

Bottom Line: Online shopping comes with risks, and scammers know that the sheer number of Amazon customers offers ample opportunities. Use common sense and skepticism to avoid falling into the trap.


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How to avoid Amazon scams — 5 tips you need to know

Amazon sells several hundred billion dollars — yes, that’s a real number — of goods to consumers every year.  There’s a decent chance at least a few of those dollars came from your pocket.  
Unfortunately, popular retail marketplaces like Amazon and eBay also attract scammers who are looking to take advantage of shoppers by cheating them out of money, personal information or both.  
Fraud capitalizing on Amazon’s reach has been on the rise. Amazon impersonators who have nothing to do with the actual company targeted 96,000 people from July 2020 to June 2021, and successfully scammed 6,000 of them out of more than $27 million. Older adults are disproportionately victimized, with a median reported loss of $1,500.  
And that’s just one type of Amazon-related scam. Criminals have found many creative ways to steal from Amazon consumers.  
Here are some of the red flags to watch for when shopping on Amazon, or when contacted by someone pretending to represent Amazon.
What are the most common Amazon scams? 
One of the most common scams you could encounter is an Amazon-impersonator scam. According to the Federal Trade Commission, one in three people targeted by business impersonators reports that the fraudster claimed to be from Amazon.  
This scheme could involve an “Amazon representative” offering to refund you for a purchase, then claiming they transferred more money to your bank account than you were owed and requesting that you return the “overpayment.”  
In another situation, the scammer will claim that you need to protect your Amazon account from hackers by buying gift cards and providing the card numbers. In both cases, you’re simply paying scammers who have no connection to Amazon with your own money.  
The FTC has also warned Amazon customers about fake call scams, in which the caller leaves a recorded message stating that there’s a problem with your Amazon account. To resolve the issue, you’re prompted to press a button to connect to customer service, or you’re given a number to call back.  
In either case, the scammers are trying to get you to share your Amazon password or your payment information. These fraudsters are often able to spoof caller ID so that it looks like the call is coming from Amazon’s customer-service team.  
A similar type of Amazon scam is an email scam. You’ll get an official-sounding email from “Amazon” claiming there’s an issue with your account and prompting you to update your payment information. Or the email will appear to be a shipping confirmation for an order you didn’t place. Or you’ll be asked to verify your account.  
Again, the scammers want you to click the link or call the provided number and disclose sensitive information that would grant them access to your account or credit card.  
Amazon gift-card scams also go well beyond basic business impersonation. Amazon has compiled a whole list of connected scams, all of which involve you paying fees or making purchases by handing over Amazon gift card numbers:  
Social Security scams. Scammers claim you need to resolve an issue with your Social Security number by using an Amazon gift card.  
Job-offer scams. Unsolicited callers offer you a work-from-home Amazon job and then claim you must pay a start-up fee via gift card.  
Fake online listings. Sellers on any website ask you to pay for goods using an Amazon gift card.  
Boss scams. Scammers pose as your boss and ask you, via text or email, to buy Amazon gift cards as employee incentives or client gifts.  
Unpaid debt or tax scams. Like Social Security scams, you’re asked to resolve bogus debts or fees using an Amazon gift card.  
Of course, Amazon customers aren’t immune from scammy third-party sellers on Amazon itself, who take advantage of Amazon Marketplace listings to steal from buyers. Scam artists have been known to direct buyers to make wire transfers or other payments outside of Amazon, eliminating any protection you have.  
Similarly, Amazon Marketplace sellers may list counterfeit items at too-good-to-be-true prices; ship you the wrong product or send your package to the wrong name; or simply never send you your purchase at all. All these are not very different from the eBay scams that customers need to watch out for. 
How to avoid Amazon scams — 5 things to watch for 
Many Amazon scams come in the form of phishing, in which criminals aim to trick you into providing personal or payment information they can use to steal your money or identity. The other major type involves retail scams on the platform’s Marketplace.  
Here are 5 things to watch for to avoid getting scammed.  
Do not pay for purchases, fees or refunds with a gift card. Legitimate transactions take place on legitimate platforms. According to the FTC, if someone requests the number on the back of a gift card, they’re scamming you.  
Do not do any business with anyone who requests to contact you or make a transaction outside Amazon’s website.  
Do not call phone numbers or click links in emails related to your account — especially if the caller or the email message makes it seem urgent. If you need to reach Amazon, look up the appropriate customer service number on the company’s website or use their online chat. Amazon also has specific directions for verifying the legitimacy of emails, texts and phone calls.  
Do not click links in text messages without looking closely at the sender. Amazon does send gift cards by text, but from only one number: 455-72. If it’s from a different number, it’s a scam. 
Do use caution when purchasing from third-party Amazon sellers. Linda Sherry, director of national priorities at Consumer Action, advises shoppers to do their due diligence before simply going after a good deal.  
“I’d say don’t buy from sellers who do not have lots of good reviews from ‘verified buyers’ as shown on the site,” says Sherry. “Read descriptions and reviews and train your ‘Spidey sense’ to read between the lines, if necessary, about the value of a product.”  
Legitimate sellers will be upfront about their products, their products’ flaws and their prices, she adds.  
Bottom line: Online shopping comes with risks, and scammers know that the sheer volume of Amazon customers provides ample opportunity. Use your common sense and skepticism to avoid falling into a trap. 

#avoid #Amazon #scams #tips

How to avoid Amazon scams — 5 tips you need to know

Amazon sells several hundred billion dollars — yes, that’s a real number — of goods to consumers every year.  There’s a decent chance at least a few of those dollars came from your pocket.  
Unfortunately, popular retail marketplaces like Amazon and eBay also attract scammers who are looking to take advantage of shoppers by cheating them out of money, personal information or both.  
Fraud capitalizing on Amazon’s reach has been on the rise. Amazon impersonators who have nothing to do with the actual company targeted 96,000 people from July 2020 to June 2021, and successfully scammed 6,000 of them out of more than $27 million. Older adults are disproportionately victimized, with a median reported loss of $1,500.  
And that’s just one type of Amazon-related scam. Criminals have found many creative ways to steal from Amazon consumers.  
Here are some of the red flags to watch for when shopping on Amazon, or when contacted by someone pretending to represent Amazon.
What are the most common Amazon scams? 
One of the most common scams you could encounter is an Amazon-impersonator scam. According to the Federal Trade Commission, one in three people targeted by business impersonators reports that the fraudster claimed to be from Amazon.  
This scheme could involve an “Amazon representative” offering to refund you for a purchase, then claiming they transferred more money to your bank account than you were owed and requesting that you return the “overpayment.”  
In another situation, the scammer will claim that you need to protect your Amazon account from hackers by buying gift cards and providing the card numbers. In both cases, you’re simply paying scammers who have no connection to Amazon with your own money.  
The FTC has also warned Amazon customers about fake call scams, in which the caller leaves a recorded message stating that there’s a problem with your Amazon account. To resolve the issue, you’re prompted to press a button to connect to customer service, or you’re given a number to call back.  
In either case, the scammers are trying to get you to share your Amazon password or your payment information. These fraudsters are often able to spoof caller ID so that it looks like the call is coming from Amazon’s customer-service team.  
A similar type of Amazon scam is an email scam. You’ll get an official-sounding email from “Amazon” claiming there’s an issue with your account and prompting you to update your payment information. Or the email will appear to be a shipping confirmation for an order you didn’t place. Or you’ll be asked to verify your account.  
Again, the scammers want you to click the link or call the provided number and disclose sensitive information that would grant them access to your account or credit card.  
Amazon gift-card scams also go well beyond basic business impersonation. Amazon has compiled a whole list of connected scams, all of which involve you paying fees or making purchases by handing over Amazon gift card numbers:  
Social Security scams. Scammers claim you need to resolve an issue with your Social Security number by using an Amazon gift card.  
Job-offer scams. Unsolicited callers offer you a work-from-home Amazon job and then claim you must pay a start-up fee via gift card.  
Fake online listings. Sellers on any website ask you to pay for goods using an Amazon gift card.  
Boss scams. Scammers pose as your boss and ask you, via text or email, to buy Amazon gift cards as employee incentives or client gifts.  
Unpaid debt or tax scams. Like Social Security scams, you’re asked to resolve bogus debts or fees using an Amazon gift card.  
Of course, Amazon customers aren’t immune from scammy third-party sellers on Amazon itself, who take advantage of Amazon Marketplace listings to steal from buyers. Scam artists have been known to direct buyers to make wire transfers or other payments outside of Amazon, eliminating any protection you have.  
Similarly, Amazon Marketplace sellers may list counterfeit items at too-good-to-be-true prices; ship you the wrong product or send your package to the wrong name; or simply never send you your purchase at all. All these are not very different from the eBay scams that customers need to watch out for. 
How to avoid Amazon scams — 5 things to watch for 
Many Amazon scams come in the form of phishing, in which criminals aim to trick you into providing personal or payment information they can use to steal your money or identity. The other major type involves retail scams on the platform’s Marketplace.  
Here are 5 things to watch for to avoid getting scammed.  
Do not pay for purchases, fees or refunds with a gift card. Legitimate transactions take place on legitimate platforms. According to the FTC, if someone requests the number on the back of a gift card, they’re scamming you.  
Do not do any business with anyone who requests to contact you or make a transaction outside Amazon’s website.  
Do not call phone numbers or click links in emails related to your account — especially if the caller or the email message makes it seem urgent. If you need to reach Amazon, look up the appropriate customer service number on the company’s website or use their online chat. Amazon also has specific directions for verifying the legitimacy of emails, texts and phone calls.  
Do not click links in text messages without looking closely at the sender. Amazon does send gift cards by text, but from only one number: 455-72. If it’s from a different number, it’s a scam. 
Do use caution when purchasing from third-party Amazon sellers. Linda Sherry, director of national priorities at Consumer Action, advises shoppers to do their due diligence before simply going after a good deal.  
“I’d say don’t buy from sellers who do not have lots of good reviews from ‘verified buyers’ as shown on the site,” says Sherry. “Read descriptions and reviews and train your ‘Spidey sense’ to read between the lines, if necessary, about the value of a product.”  
Legitimate sellers will be upfront about their products, their products’ flaws and their prices, she adds.  
Bottom line: Online shopping comes with risks, and scammers know that the sheer volume of Amazon customers provides ample opportunity. Use your common sense and skepticism to avoid falling into a trap. 

#avoid #Amazon #scams #tips


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