On March 28, 2020, Vicky Tripp’s seemingly peaceful life was forever changed by one email – an email she thought was from Amazon.

Vicki Tripp, a senior from North County, lost all her life savings after she innocently gave hackers access to her bank account through an email Amazon scam.

“There was a charge on Amazon for an iPhone and I knew it wasn’t my charge,” Tripp said to San Diego’s 10 News . She called the number in the email to complain she didn’t purchase anything from Amazon and was told by a customer service representative it was an error and a refund is on the way.

She later on found out that the person she called who she thought was an Amazon employee was actually a scammer. The scammer gained remote access to her computer and ultimately to her bank account through Anydesk, a remote desktop application.

Cyber security experts say these Amazon scams are nothing new, but incidents such as what happened to Tripp have increased since the pandemic. They also want the public to know of the five major Amazon scams.

What Do These Scammers Do?

The primary goal is to steal your personal information and obtain control of your devices, such as computers, laptops, and mobile phones. Once they have control, they aim to steal data that scammers can use for fraud or identity theft. Scammers can exploit the information you provide to gain access to your accounts, make transactions, and take a large amount of your time, peace of mind, and money.

These scammers will often set up a Coinbase or Gemini account in the consumer’s name so that they can wire the funds to this account. Once there, they turn it into Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency, so that they can send it to their own untraceable wallet. Once that money is transferred out, it is likely gone forever.

The 5 most common Amazon scams that you should watch out for and avoid.

Fake Amazon Website for Consumer Service

Scammers can be very crafty in the way they obtain victims’ information. One such way is to make a fake website that looks just like Amazon’s legitimate website. They put their own phone number on this fake website and label it as Amazon’s customer service number.

Then the scammers wait for the phone to ring. Once unsuspecting consumers begin to call in, the scammers will try to gather as much of your personal information as they can. Then, the scammer will try to get the consumer to click something in an email or on the website that unknowingly gives these scammers remote access to the consumer’s computer.

Phone Calls Regarding Your Amazon Prime Account

Scammers usually target customers who have an Amazon Prime account, and typically, they will call someone and inform them that a Prime account has been opened in their name. The customer will then be transferred to someone posing as an Amazon customer service worker who is a scammer attempting to obtain their personal information. They might also try to persuade the buyer to do something risky. They try to convince users to install remote access software or to click links, which provides the scammer immediate access to the consumer’s computer and allows the scammer to collect personal information for fraud and identity theft. If you receive phone calls from unknown numbers with unrecognizable area codes, it could be a scam call.

Phone Calls Regarding Unauthorized Purchases from Your Account

The scammer usually calls and claims a problem with your Amazon account. They could indicate an unfulfilled order, unusual activity on your account, or the loss of one of your packages. The call may prompt you to press 1 to speak with a representative who can help you resolve the issue. Hang up and do not press 1 if you receive a call like this. If the scammers provide you with a phone number to call, do not call it — and by all means, do not give out any sensitive information over the phone.

On the same note, if you come across emails or messages like this: “Your Sony PlayStation will be shipped to the address you provided as soon as possible. You didn’t place an order for one? Simply give us a call, and we’ll take care of everything.”, this might be a scam.

Paying for Products and Services with an Amazon Gift Card

Amazon gift card is for a gift, not for a payment. Scammers usually work on a typical pattern: they contact a victim by phone, email, social media, or online; they generate a sense of urgency (for example, by offering a very good price or mentioning a personal hardship or emergency); they demand payment in the form of gift cards, and they inform and force the victim to buy gift cards online or at a nearby store. The scammer then asks or instructs the victim to call, text, or email the claim number on the gift card — and then leaves.

These scammers pretend to be someone from government agencies, companies, tech supports, online web stores, or Amazon itself. Notably, they want to intimidate or pressure you into responding instantly so that you don’t have time to think or speak with someone you can trust.

Text Messages Claiming You Won a Prize

Messages from an unknown number saying you won something are a new and slick Amazon scam. Remember, scammers, opt for money. They pose like honest Amazon service workers.

These scammers will congratulate you for winning an Amazon raffle draw. They will convince you that you will get giveaways and sweepstakes like a free pair of AirPods. Then, they will ask you to pay the shipping fee of around $5 to $20. In the worst case, they will ask you to give your credit or debit card for further charges. If you fall for this scam, you will surely lose hundreds to thousands of dollars.

How We Can Help

If you have fallen for one of these scams, all hope may not be lost. Despite the bank claiming that the breach is your fault and thus your liability, this is not always the case. Barthel Legal has helped consumers get their money refunded from banks that are unwilling to help consumers get their money back.

If you encountered one of these Amazon scams, our firm could help you get your money back. The feeling and experience of being robbed, scammed, and stolen are devastating; but we can help you turn it around and go on the offensive to get your money back. Call us now for a free consultation.