Don’t Fall Prey to These Amazon Phishing Scams

(Photo credit: Shutterstock/Sergey Nivens)
By Sid Kirchheimer

Beware of these convincing phishing scams that threaten Amazon shoppers.

Confirm Your Information

These bogus emails, purportedly sent by Amazon and already rampant in the United Kingdom and Australia, have the subject line “Your Amazon.com order cannot be shipped.”

Claiming there is a problem processing orders, the message says, “You will not be able to access your account or place orders with us until we confirm your information.”

A “click here” link leads to this authentic-looking page to confirm your name, address and credit card information (including expiration and CVV security code)—everything fraudsters need to make unauthorized charges.

After entering that sensitive data and hitting the Save & Continue tab, consumers are stealthily redirected to the actual Amazon website, none the wiser that they just gave cybercrooks carte blanche to their plastic.

Don’t take the bait. Rather than ever clicking on an embedded link from Amazon (or any other online retailer), go to Your Orders to determine if there is an order that matches the details in an email. If they don’t match, the message isn’t legitimate, notes Amazon.

Prepay for DirecTV services with an Amazon gift card

There’s been an uptick in a years-old ploy in which DirecTV impostors call existing subscribers and potential new customers, claiming this bogus promotion: By purchasing a $300 Amazon gift card and using it to prepay for services, DirecTV users can get a discounted monthly rate and additional channels. Although DirecTV has promotions that give Amazon or other gift cards to those initiating new service agreements, it does not solicit payment that way. What’s more, Amazon gift cards cannot be used anywhere except on the company’s own website.

Amazon Associates website scheme

Meanwhile, the Federal Trade Commission busted a telemarketing scheme involving five companies that falsely claimed to be affiliated with Amazon. According to an FTC complaint, the defendants’ telemarketers would falsely tell seniors, veterans and others that for fees up to several thousand dollars, they could create a website linked to Amazon.com to earn thousands per month in commissions for work-at-home sales.

For information about other scams, sign up for the Fraud Watch Network. You’ll receive free email alerts with tips and resources to help you spot and avoid identity theft and fraud. Keep tabs on scams and law enforcement alerts in your area with AARP’s Scam-Tracking Map.