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500% increase in Amazon Scams

by Ben Grave - 21/01/2022

With ordering on Amazon a weekly (or more likely, daily) occurrence for many of us, it’s no surprise the unsavoury fraudsters are increasing their attention to Amazon related scams. Recent reports suggest Amazon scams are up by 500% since June 2020 according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

As our awareness of these scams grow, unfortunately so does their sophistication and scam emails can range from ‘Obviously Fake’ to ‘Obviously Amazon’, and everything in-between. Coupled with the fact, we are all busy and rushing to get things done (lowering our natural defences), it has become far easier to fall prey to these scams.

Recently we received an Amazon receipt email listing items that we hadn’t purchased. The hope is , unsuspecting users quickly click on the link to find out what’s happened, and encouraged to change or update their login details. Another common scam is an Amazon email requesting that you update your payment details.

Ultimately, the aim of these scams is to take your money by harvesting your bank account details. They will encourage you to click a link to update your details, or click a link that installs a virus or other harmful software onto your PC, with could enable them to gain access to your bank accounts or sensitive information stored on your computer or device.

But do not fear opening every Amazon email… Although on first sight these emails look genuine, there are usually tell-tale signs of their origin, and by applying a little more attention you’ll quickly be able to identify any possible scam.

Here are some simple steps you can take to stop you falling foul of the Amazon scammers…

  • Although the email looks legitimate, check the spelling and grammar carefully. Are there spelling mistakes, improper grammar, or poor sentence structures within the email? If so, this is a huge red flag, as far below Amazon’s high standards. Just delete the email.
  • If an Amazon email asks you to ‘Click Here’ to verify your details, delete the email. Amazon will never send an email requesting you to take this type of action.
  • Check the senders email address by hovering your mouse over the email address and make sure it is from a genuine amazon email address. If you are on a tablet or phone, press and hold on the sender to reveal the true email address. In the UK it will be sent from @amazon.co.uk. NOT @amazonsupport.com or any other variation.

Remember you can verify anything that you are not sure about on the Amazon website. So, if you receive an email from Amazon that appears convincing (remember they’re getting smarter!), go directly to the Amazon website (without clicking any leaks on the offending email) to verify the email’s contents.

And remember, these scam emails are looking more and more convincing every day, so don’t beat yourself up if you do fall victim. Simply go to your Amazon account and change your password, then sign out of your Amazon account on all devices. It is also highly advisable to turn on dual-factor authentication now.

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