TAMPA, Fla. — The Federal Trade Commission and the Better Business Bureau’s Scam Tracker reported a spike in Amazon imposter scams warning customers of a suspicious charge on their account.
Many of the calls notify customers that their accounts are being charged for a new iPhone and upwards of $1,000. Amazon customer Linda Shepard received a similar call.
“Girl said she was with Amazon security systems, that someone was trying to hack into my Amazon account and charge an iPhone 12 for $999,” Shepard said.
The Sarasota business owner said the caller caught her off guard and she feared her account had been hacked.
“She kept telling me that people were trying to hack into Amazon accounts all the time [and] that she was going to show me how to delete my credit cards,” Shepard recounted.
Before Shepard realized she'd been dealing with an Amazon imposter, the thief stole more than $2,000 from her checking account.
“I was nauseous,” she said. “I thought I was going to throw up when it happened.”
The Better Business Bureau's Scam Tracker shows a spike in Amazon imposter scams after the pandemic hit and nearly everyone, it seemed, started shopping online.
“In our 2020 report on scams, Amazon was the second most popular name used in reporting scams,” said the BBB’s Bryan Oglesby. “They are really good at using fear and intimidation, making the consumer believe something is wrong.”
It is important to remember Amazon may email you about an issue with your account or an order, but they won't call you. If you get one of these calls, hang up and use your actual Amazon account to reach customer service.
Never Google Amazon customer service as so many scammers have placed their numbers on Google. And remember once you give someone your debit or checking account information that money is impossible to get back.
You can report these scams to the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov.
This story was originally published by Jackie Callaway at WFTS.