Amazon scams and how to avoid them

Amazon scams and how to avoid them

Amazon Scams: The revenue of Amazon for the quarter ended March 31, 2021 was $108.518 billion, up 43.82 percent year over year. With large amounts of  money on the line, it’s no surprise that scammers, fraudsters, and identity thieves have flocked to Amazon’s expanding orbit. Every day, a new scam or loophole is revealed. In an attempt to gather public personal information, there are phone call frauds, email frauds, scams, and online frauds.

However, there are multiple ways to protect yourself from such deceptions. It only takes a little understanding of what you’re up against, a few solid fraud detection and prevention tactics to keep fraudsters away from you and your family. In this article, we’ll be discussing some of the most common Amazon scams and how you can avoid them.

Phishing

Phishing is when a person demonstrates themselves to be a trustworthy organisation in order to obtain personal information from you with the purpose to steal your money or even your identity. Phishing schemes on Amazon are rather widespread, and more complex techniques of obtaining personal information are continually being devised.

 The majority of Amazon phishing scams are sent via email, however some scammers may also send SMS messages. Malicious viruses can be found in links and attachments in phishing emails and messages. These will collect passwords and personal data from the devices in use.

If you receive any suspicious-sounding phone calls, emails, or text messages, you should immediately report them to Amazon to protect yourself from phishing. Don’t put out any personal details over the phone. If you’re being asked questions you’re not sure about, end the call right away.

Gift Card Scams

Fraudsters contact Amazon customers via email, phone, or social media, offering huge discounts on not only Amazon gift cards, but also gift cards from third-party vendors (like banks and credit card providers.) 

Often, the message includes an urgent call to action,  offering things that can be purchased at a steep discount with Amazon gift cards, as well as other gift cards sold on Amazon. Don’t get taken in by it. Amazon gift cards can only be applied on Amazon and cannot be used to pay for goods or services from other companies or persons.

To prevent being a victim of this Amazon scam, simply ignore such calls and emails, and never use Amazon gift cards with companies or people that are not affiliated with Amazon.com. Furthermore, never give an Amazon gift card claim number to someone you don’t know; they’ll use it to steal the card long before you can contact police enforcement.

Discount Voucher Scams

Saving money is as simple as looking for coupons online. Unfortunately, it’s also a simple way for scammers to get your name and contact information. Before revealing your information, double-check if a coupon promotion is legitimate.

Scam coupon sites frequently request your personal information. You need to buy something, but you’re hoping to save money by using a coupon you found online. A simple Google search brings dozens of results. The majority of the web coupons promise a modest 10% to 15% savings. One, though, offers a much better deal: 50% off your order.

If you receive an email from Amazon claiming you’ve won a gift or qualify for a discount, proceed with caution before clicking any links. These emails could be phishing scams designed to steal your personal information. 

People’s excitement is exploited in these emails to induce them to act without thinking, and they are forwarded to a fake website that collects whatever personal information they provide to claim their voucher or prize.

Simply ignore and delete any strange emails or texts claiming Amazon rewards to prevent becoming a victim of such frauds. Amazon does not offer significantly discounted deals or gift cards, unsolicited and by email.

Replace and Refund Scam

This Amazon rip-off is precisely what it says on the tin. A buyer receives a product from a seller, who subsequently replaces it with a broken one and requests a refund. 

Scammers place an order for a product and, when it arrives, exchange it with one that is scuffed or broken, then return it because it is defective. This is extremely difficult to tackle because you can’t confirm that the thing was working before you sent it.

This con can be avoided by conducting a quality check and then using a tamper-proof sticker. The stickers are meant to tear if they are attempted to be removed from the goods. 

To further deter prospective scammers, information on the sticker warranty might be included in the item description, noting that the goods has been quality-tested and comes with a sticker warranty.

Fake Product Scam

This Amazon scams affects customers who assume they’re buying legitimate, brand-name goods only to discover it’s a rip-off and not worth the money they paid for it. 

Counterfeit vendors are a way of life on Amazon, and despite the company’s efforts to filter and remove fraudulent sellers, too many bogus sellers get through the cracks and onto the Amazon.com platform.

You may avoid falling for this con by doing your homework and looking at the seller’s feedback and reviews. If the seller raises any suspicions or raises any red flags, shun them and look for a trustworthy Amazon seller you can trust.

Conclusion

In general, Amazon customers should expect a positive and dependable shopping experience. Simply avoid the potentially fraudulent scenarios outlined above to keep your personal information and funds safe and out of the hands of Amazon scams.

Still, it’s possible that you might fall victim to an Amazon scam at some point. If this is the case then you are required to act quickly. Change your Amazon password right away, and if you have multiple accounts in your name with the same password, change them all. 

If you feel that your financial information has been compromised, contact the police and your bank to cancel any cards or accounts that have the probability to be compromised, as well as to freeze any accounts that may have been defrauded.

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