(BBB) – The Better Business Bureau has received numerous calls from consumers who received calls from representatives claiming to be with Amazon. The scammer begins the call by stating that there is an Amazon package that is waiting to be delivered to the consumer.
However, their payment information cannot be verified, therefore, the representative needs access to their computer in order to retrieve the order information. Once the phony representative gains access to the consumer’s computer, they would be able to retrieve any saved personally identifiable information. Additionally, the scammer could potentially lock the computer and demand payment be made to unlock it.
Amazon’s main channel of communication with consumers is through email. If there is an issue with your order or a delay in delivery, the company will send the buyer an email alerting them. In the event there is an issue with an order that needs to be handled immediately, the consumer is expected to contact the Amazon customer service department at 1-888-280-4331. If you have received a phishing email, the company requests you report it by sending a copy to email@example.com.
So how can you spot a “customer support” scam before becoming a victim?
Some of the ways scammers target potential victims include:
- Cold calls. Another popular way for thieves to get in touch with victims is through cold calls. The caller, claiming to be from Amazon, Comcast, Norton, Dell, or another tech company, says that there is a problem with your order or that the consumers’ computer has a security problem. Never give someone who cold calls you any financial information and never let someone who cold calls you have access to your computer. Remember that scammers can spoof official-looking phone numbers, so don’t trust your Caller ID.
- Verify the caller’s claim using a trusted source. Even when the caller is friendly, always use caution when asked for personal information. You can always hang up, look up the official customer service number, and directly contact the company to confirm their request. Whenever possible, use the customer service contact information or chat function within your account at the company.
- Sponsored links. When you use a search engine to look for customer service numbers, be wary of the sponsored ads at the top of the list. Many of these numbers are set up by scammers to direct you to them. It is always best to go to the company’s website directly.
- Emails. Scammers often use email to reach potential victims. A link in the email will take the consumer to a website operated by the scammers that will launch a pop-up with the fake warning and phone number and other malicious links.