As excited shoppers know, Amazon Prime Day kicks off tomorrow (Tuesday, July 11th) and there will be lots of deals to take advantage of, but the company is warning folks to be on the lookout for Amazon impersonation scams. The Federal Trade Commission reports that Amazon was the most impersonated business in 2021, with around one in three reporting that they encountered a scammer pretending to be an Amazon rep. Those scams ended up costing consumers over $27-million in losses.
The tech giant also shuts down a lot of potential scammers. According to Kebharu Smith, director of Amazon’s counterfeit crimes unit, the company also stopped 800-thousand scam accounts in 2022. He explains, “Our robust seller and product vetting coupled with our efforts to hold bad actors accountable are deterring bad actors from even attempting to enter our store.”
To protect yourself while shopping, these are the things Amazon wants consumers to watch out for:
- Suspicious emails or texts claiming to be from Amazon asking you to contact them or download software. If you get one, don’t reply directly to it, instead contact Amazon customer service directly to see if there’s an issue.
- Fraudulent emails that contain grammatical and spelling errors, which are probably phishing attempts.
- Being asked to make an Amazon payment over phone or email, or a bank transfer on another site. This is probably a scam, as Amazon only asks for payments through their mobile app, website or physical stores.
- Being pressured into buying a gift card. Amazon won’t ever ask for one and no legitimate Amazon transaction will require a gift card.
If you see something you suspect is an Amazon scam, you can report it:
- Directly to Amazon
- To the Federal Trade Commission - The FTC is focused on fraud protection and you can file a report online.
- State consumer Protection office - You can find your state’s office here.
Source: USA Today