Virus & Scams

Amazon Prime Fraudsters

At Solent Way Computers we feel it is necessary to make this post again, as it is absolutely crucial that everyone knows the dangers of scammers, and the damage they can cause to one’s life and livelihood. An article by Which? stated that Amazon Prime fraudsters managed to steal £6,900 from a woman in her 60s, so please, please read this post, to ensure that you and people you know don’t get scammed!

Amazon Prime is a premium service that offers next-day (or even same-day) delivery, and Prime members don’t have to buy over the £20 threshold to gain free delivery, you can spend as much or as little as you wish for, for only £7.99/mo (£3.99/mo for students).

Unfortunately, the Amazon Prime Phishing Scam has risen once again, and it is costing victims hundreds. Today I will explain the scam in full detail and how YOU can avoid becoming a victim.

Amazon will never, ever ask for personal information

No matter what form of communication (SMS, phone call, or email), Amazon will NEVER ask for any personal information, they will NEVER ask for remote access to your system, and will NEVER ask for a payment.

Phishing scams

Phishing scams are rising in popularity amid the COVID-19 pandemic. What is a phishing scam? It is an email that is sent to a random selection of people, pretending to be from a large company. The email will contain an illegitimate link that asks you to input your details into a form that they have created for the purpose of stealing your personal details which they can then do anything with. In the case of Amazon, it will be an email falsely informing the user that they have been locked out of their account and that they need to click a link to resolve this.

Here are a few checks you can run to ensure that you DON’T get scammed by an Amazon phishing email:

  • Amazon emails ALWAYS come from @amazon.co.uk if you live in the UK (e.g. if you live in France it will be @amazon.fr), if the email is different in any way, then suspect it is fraudulent and delete it immediately
  • Legitimate Amazon links will begin with https://www.amazon.co.uk if you live in the UK, Amazon websites also have a “.” before the amazon.co.uk e.g. pay.amazon.co.uk, any other style of the link will be fraudulent (for your safety, DO NOT CLICK ANY LINK IN A FRAUDULENT EMAIL)
  • Amazon will NEVER ask you to refresh payment details or request ANY personal information

Phone & SMS scams

Phone scams have existed for decades, and scammers are always trying to find innovative ways of deluding their victims into giving either personal information or direct payments. The Amazon Prime Scam is most commonly conducted over the phone, and I will explain the procedure in steps below:

  1. The victim will receive an automated phone call telling them that they have been “charged for an Amazon Prime Subscription”, and then will be instructed to “press 1 to cancel the transaction”, which directs the victim to a real scammer.
  2. The scammer informs the victim that their subscription was purchased fraudulently and that they need “remote access” to the victim’s computer to solve the issue.
  3. The scammer will then teach the victim how to download and install Remote Access Software, and then the victim will give the scammer an access code to their system e.g. software such as TeamViewer or Chrome Remote Desktop.
  4. Once the scammer has access to the desktop, they will give the victim a set of instructions that will inevitably result in the victim logging into their bank account so the scammer can make a note of all the bank details.
  5. Now that the victim’s bank details have been stolen, they are at risk of losing a large sum of money as the scammer will use the details to purchase items for themselves.

PLEASE DO NOT BE FOOLED! To prevent yourself from being scammed, do not move past step 1, and if you’re receiving a call from an area code you do not recognise, do not answer the call.

The same goes for SMS Scams, otherwise known as Smishing scams, and these are rising in popularity. Scammers are becoming more intelligent and can actually weave these illegitimate messages into your legitimate Amazon messages, but please read below to ensure you’re not fooled:

  • Scam SMS texts will often inform victims that there is an issue with their Amazon account, and then proceed to ask for your account details, or they will state that you’re owed a refund. Reminder: AMAZON WILL NEVER ASK FOR PERSONAL INFORMATION BY ANY FORM OF COMMUNICATION.

<<< Before you leave, why not read: Keep your children safe on the Internet

What can you do if you’ve been scammed?

If you have fallen victim to a phishing scam, phone scam, or smishing scam, your personal details are at risk. Please do not fall victim to these scams and stay safe.

ActionFraud - National Fraud & Cyber Crime Reporting Centre - Call 0300 123 2040

If you receive a scam of any kind, by email, SMS, or any other means of scam, please report it to https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/, all information sent to ActionFraud is sent to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau for investigation.

If you’ve been scammed and your computer has been breached/hacked into, please phone 01329 535 001, email [email protected] or visit our site (location at bottom of the website) and we will fix your issue. Stay safe.

Tags: Virus & Scams

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