Tech

Amazon scam emails are up to 500% and they can cost you thousands of dollars

AMAZON phishing emails that could cost you thousands have skyrocketed 500% since last year – so how can you spot them?

The online retail giant’s popularity has made it a prime target for scammers and cyber crooks trying to take advantage of unsuspecting customers.

Scammers try and target unsuspecting Amazon customers with bogus emails

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Scammers try and target unsuspecting Amazon customers with bogus emailsCredit: Alamy
Some tricks involve sending fake receipts and shipping confirmations to fool customers

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Some tricks involve sending fake receipts and shipping confirmations to fool customers

And as Amazon’s security improves, so does the sophistication of 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 to a customer with a fake receipt or delivery confirmation for an order you never placed.

The user can then click a dodgy link to learn more about their alleged order – leading you to believe you have to update your account details.

A similar trick notifies the user that there is a ‘problem’ with your Amazon account or payment method – again tricking the victim into sending back their personal information to try and fix the problem.

But innocently calling a ‘helpline’ or clicking a cunning link is actually part of a scheme to trick you into handing over your private personal details.

So, if a second guess is made of a suspicious-looking email you just received, these three simple checks can help you determine its authenticity.

Looking for suspicious language or grammar and spelling errors is an easy way to see if a message is legitimate, as a genuine Amazon investigation will not reveal any errors.

If the email asks you to “click here” to verify your details or payment method, don’t.

Amazon will never ask users to perform these actions via email, and this will most likely be a scam.

And finally, checking the sender’s full email address to make sure it came from a verified Amazon account is a great way to confirm or deny your suspicions.

In the US, any email address that doesn’t end with “@amazon.com” is fake.

It’s best to go into your Amazon account yourself to check from there, rather than clicking on fake links.

According to a warning from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), reports of Amazon scams have increased by 500% since June 2020.

And if you’re still unsure, why not contact Amazon directly via email or phone to confirm if they’ve tried to contact you.

SIGNS OF SCAM

Alex Hamerstone, director of security consulting firm TrustedSec, told Reader’s Digest: “A phishing email on Amazon can look exactly like a real Amazon email, or it can be poorly crafted and everything in between.

“But the core scams are often quite similar, as are the risks, how to prevent them, and the recommended response.

“The goal of those things is to make you think you need to update your account information and often give scammers your bank or credit card information.”

Being scammed by one scam can cost you thousands in cash – or even more – as email scams can often target multiple accounts at once.

Clicking on a malicious link can install a virus or other harmful software on your computer and thus breach further security barriers on your device.

“All these scams are about your money,” said Chris Pierson, CEO of cybersecurity firm BlackCloak.

“Cybercriminals want access to your account and the ability to buy items or access your credit card — both of which can leave you financially vulnerable.”

But if you fall victim to Amazon scammers, log into your account, change your password, and turn on two-factor authentication.

Choosing the option to sign out of your account on all devices will hopefully make it impossible for fraudsters to access your data.

Warns of phone scammers claiming to be police and demanding up to $3,600 ‘to avoid arrest’

https://www.thesun.co.uk/tech/17339902/amazon-scam-emails-cost-you-thousands-red-flags/ Amazon scam emails are up to 500% and they can cost you thousands of dollars

Caroline Bleakley

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