Last year, Bloomberg reported that Amazon.com had “tens of millions of people worldwide” sign-up for its Prime service, in which approximately 1 billion items were shipped for free.
Unfortunately, online scammers are privy to this knowledge as well and are seeking to take advantage of the traffic on Amazon’s site during the holidays. The Danville Police Department in the San Francisco Bay Area has recently issued a warning for shoppers to be wary of calls from suspicious Amazon customer service representatives.
According to a statement released by the Danville PD, costumers will receive an email or phone call congratulating them on their latest purchase regardless of whether an item was ordered.
“When the victim (customer) calls the included phone number to report the mistake they are asked for personal identification or remote access to their computer so the company can ‘rectify’ the mistake.”
Rather than actually fixing the mistake—which can easily be corrected without remote access—the “scammer gets access to your personal files and information which allows them to make even more mischief.”
Once a scammer has a person’s private information, it’s very difficult to stop them from stealing money or the victim’s identity.
Since Amazon is a global online retailer, it’s safe to assume that Californians aren’t the only ones susceptible to scams associated with the site. Luckily, there are a few ways shoppers can avoid being scammed this Christmas.
Every item you order on Amazon.com should be reflected in your purchase history. Even if you share your Amazon Prime account with another family member or friend, all purchases are tracked with the amount and order date.
If you receive a suspicious email or phone call about an item you didn’t order, file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center immediately.