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Amazon impersonation scams on the rise

Thousands are being targeted by online scammers hoping to rob people of their money and information
Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 7:29 AM CST
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(WIFR) - Scammers are posing as representatives from one of the world’s largest retailers in their latest attempts to separate you from your money. The Federal Trade Commission says since July of 2020, about one in three people who have reported a business impersonator scam say the person pretended to be from Amazon. InvestigateTV’s Sandra Jones warns of this new scam up-tick.

The Federal Trade Commission says these scams come across in a few different ways like through your cell phone, offering you a refund, or telling you that hackers have gotten access to your account. It’s all an effort to steal your money and rob your peace of mind. 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. From July of 2020 to June of 2021, nearly 96,000 people reported being targeted, and nearly 6,000 said they lost money totaling more than 27 million dollars.

These Amazon impersonators will get your attention by leaving messages to call about suspicious activity or unauthorized purchases on your account. When you call the number, a phony Amazon representative tricks you into giving them remote access to your computer or phone to supposedly fix the problem and give you a refund. Instead, the rep provides you with an overpayment and tells you to return the difference to them. If not, they say something like: “This mistake could cost me my job.”

“The more people they reach, even if it’s only .1% of people respond to the scam, it’s still plenty of money that they will make,” consumer advocate Ira Rheingold states.

Amazon impersonators are good, so take extra care to pay attention. Never call back an unknown number. Use the information on Amazon’s website and not a number listed in an unexpected email or text. Don’t give remote access to someone who contacts you unexpectedly. This gives scammers easy access to your personal and financial information. Never pay anything with a gift card. If anyone asks you to pay with a gift card or buy gift cards for anything other than a gift, don’t do it! If someone reaches you by cell phone and you think someone has access to your accounts or personal information, visit identitytheft.gov. There, you’ll find steps to take to see if your identity has been misused and how to report and recover from it. Always report the scam to reportfraud.ftc.gov.

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