Scams using online retail giant Amazon have become more frequent around the holidays as online purchases tick up. Most of these scams come in the way of impersonation scams. With the holidays upon us, we thought we’d go through what kind of Amazon scams you should look for and how to avoid being a victim.
Types of Amazon Scams
There are two major types of scams that people use when trying to use your Amazon account as leverage. It’s important to remember that these are probably the same with any major online retailer or company that you interact with a lot.
Always the predominant type of Internet scam, phishing is pervasive. Literally billions of phishing scams get sent out everyday. In this case, scammers send emails posing as Amazon and include PDFs attached stating that the user’s account will be suspended or on hold. This scam seems pretty simple, but it snags a lot of people.
A membership scam is a type of scam where a scammer will contact you and tell you you need to pay for some Amazon service. If you are a heavy Amazon user—which based on its company valuation, is a lot of us—this could cover any number of services or individual transactions. These scammers try to convince you to provide payment or bank account information in order to reinstate your membership.
Stay Secure on Amazon
Here are some tips to help you avoid being the victim of a cyberattack:
Use Secured Channels
In this case, the Amazon mobile app or official website are the only places users should seek out customer service or support. Going through a third party or even giving information to unknown organizations can cause trouble.
Don’t Give In to False Urgency
Internet scammers love to stir up emotional situations that make people act impulsively. As important as your Amazon account is, moving too quickly before taking control of the situation could result in you being scammed.
Don’t Give Financial Data Out Over the Phone
This one is a good rule of thumb no matter the situation, but there is no way Amazon, one of the largest and most successful Internet companies, is ever going to ask you to pay for anything over the phone.
Verify, Verify, Verify
Don’t rush, make sure that any correspondence from Amazon comes from an Amazon address. Don’t be fooled by well-built scams that come from off-site “support”. You’ll also want to make sure that all emails regarding your Amazon account come from amazon.com. Craftier scammers may make this more challenging than it sounds, but verifying every transactional correspondence is the best way to avoid falling for crafty scams online.
Keeping yourself safe online is an ongoing process. For more great security tips and technology information, return to our blog regularly.