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FTC  --  Amazon tops list of impersonated businesses

Scammers impersonate all sorts of businesses, but reports to the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel point to Amazon as a runaway favorite for scammers. From July 2020 through June 2021, about one in three people who reported a business impersonator said the scammer claimed to be Amazon. Reports about Amazon impersonators increased more than fivefold during this period. About 96,000 people reported being targeted, and nearly 6,000 said they lost money. Reported losses totaled more than $27 million. The reported median individual loss: $1,000.

These impersonators get your attention with messages to call about suspicious activity or unauthorized purchases on your Amazon account. When you call the number, a phony Amazon representative tricks you into giving them remote access to your computer or phone to supposedly fix the problem and give you a refund. But then—whoops—a couple of extra zeros are keyed in and too much money is (supposedly) refunded. They tell you to return the difference. In fact, some people have reported that the “representative” even begged for help, saying Amazon would fire them if the money wasn’t returned.

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