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Investigate TV: Scammers impersonate Amazon

Published: Jan. 14, 2022 at 8:08 AM CST
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(INVESTIGATE TV) - The Federal Trade Commission says since July 2020 about one in three people who have reported a business impersonator scam said someone pretended to be from Amazon.

The scams come across in different ways like a cell phone call offering you a refund or claiming that hackers have gained access to your Amazon account.

The scammers can pretend to be from any company but the FTC points out that Amazon tops the list of businesses con artists like to use.

Nearly 96,000 people reported being targeted between July 2020 and June 2021 and nearly 6,000 of them lost money amounting to more than $27 million.

The impersonators will try to get your attention by leaving messages to call them back about suspicious activity or unauthorized purchases on your Amazon account.

If you call back, phony representatives will try to trick you into giving them remote access to your computer or phone to supposedly fix the problem and give you a refund.

Instead, the representatives will provide you with an overpayment and tell you to return the difference to them.

Consumer advocate Ira Rheingold said, “The more people they reach, even if it’s only 1.1% of people who respond to the scam, it’s plenty of money that they will make...There’s a lot of bad people out there trying to separate you from your money.”

ADVICE FOR CONSUMERS

Never return a call to an unknown number. Refer to information on Amazon’s website instead and not a number listed in an unexpected email or text. Never give remote access to someone who contacts you unexpectedly and never pay the stranger anything using a gift card.

If someone reaches you by cell phone and you think that person has access to your accounts or personal information, visit identitytheft.gov. When you get there, you will find steps to take to see if your identity has been misused and how to recover from it.

Always report the scam to reportfraud.ftc.gov.

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