Amazon scam emails that could cost you thousands have skyrocketed by 500 percent since last year – so how can you look out for them?
The online retailing giant’s popularity has made it a prime target for fraudsters and internet con’s trying to take advantage of unsuspecting customers.
And as Amazon’s security improves, so does the sophistication of the scammers – but there are some red flags that can help you spot them.
The latest scheme involves an official-looking email from ‘Amazon’ being sent out to customers of fake receipts or shipping confirmations for an order that you never placed.
Users may then click on the dodgy link to find out more about their supposed order – making you believe you have to update your account details.
A similar trick notifies users there is a ‘problem’ with your Amazon account or payment method – again tricking victims into resubmitting their personal information to try and fix the issue.
But innocently calling the ‘helpline’ or clicking on the dodgy link is actually part of the plan to fool you into handing over your private personal details.
So, if your second guessing the suspicious-looking email you just received, these three simple checks can help you determine its authenticity.
Looking out for suspicious language or grammatical and spelling errors is an easy way to see if the message is legit, as a genuine Amazon inquiry would not have any.
If the email asks you to “click here” to verify your details or payment method, don’t.
Amazon will never ask users to do these actions via email and this will likely be a scam.
And finally, checking the sender’s full email address to ensure it is from a verified Amazon account is a foolproof way to confirm or deny your doubts.
In the US, any email address that does not end with “@amazon.com” is fake.
It is always best to access your Amazon account yourself to make checks from there, rather than clicking on phony links.
According to a warning by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), reports of Amazon scams have increased by a huge 500 per cent since June 2020,
And if you’re still not sure, why not get in touch with Amazon directly by email or phone to confirm whether they have tried to contact you.
Alex Hamerstone, director with the security-consulting firm TrustedSec, told Reader’s Digest: “An Amazon email scam can look exactly like a real Amazon email, or can be poorly crafted, and everything in between.
“But the core scams are usually pretty similar, as are the risks, the ways to prevent them, and the recommended response.
“The goal of those is to get you to think you need to update your account information, and usually give the scammer your credit card or bank information.”
Being hoodwinked by the ploy could see you lose thousands in cash – or even more – as email scams can often target multiple accounts at once.
Clicking on the vicious link could install a virus or other harmful software on your computer and therefore breach further security barriers on your device.
“These scams are all targeting your money,” says Chris Pierson, CEO of cybersecurity company BlackCloak added.
“The cybercriminals want either access to your account and the ability to purchase items or access to your credit card—both of which can cause you financial harm.”
But if you do fall victim to Amazon scammers, log into your account, change the password and turn on dual-factor authentication.
Selecting the option to sign out of your account on all devices will hopefully then leave the trickster unable to access your data.
This story originally appeared on The Sun and has been reproduced here with permission.
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