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Amazon phishing scam resurfaces

Posted 17/07/20

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) has picked up further evidence of ongoing scams targetting Amazon Prime subscribers.

As of the first quarter of 2020, Amazon Prime is in almost 7.9 million UK households and has increased its subscriber base by 6.7 million households over the past five years.

Scammers are targetting users of the popular platform through email and the telephone in a series of phishing scams. Households are receiving automated telephone calls informing them that they have opened an Amazon Prime account and that they should "press one" to cancel the transaction. Upon pushing the button, the call connects to a fraudster posing as an Amazon customer service representative. 

The scammer informs the recipient of the call that their subscription was purchased fraudulently due to a supposed "security flaw" on the targetted person's computer. The bogus Amazon representative then asks for remote access to the recipient's computer, supposedly to fix the security breach. Remote access gives control access allowing the scammers to steal personal information, including passwords and banking information.

An email version of this scam has also emerged claiming the target has started an Amazon Music subscription charged at £28.99 per month. Similarly, the email asks the recipient to click a link to cancel the subscription and receive a refund. The potential victim is asked to input their card details to receive the refund, instantly sending the details to fraudsters.

Katherine Hart, Lead Officer at CTSI, said: " Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, people are spending more time at home and more people are using internet platforms for shopping than ever before. Phishing scams targetting users of big platforms like Amazon have existed for a long time, but the current crisis has made them more vulnerable.

"Amazon will never cold-call customers, nor ask for remote computer access or payment over the phone. Do not give any details to the caller, and always verify directly with Amazon by logging into your official account and contacting customer support. Anyone who receives these calls or emails should report them to Action Fraud, or if in Scotland report it to Police Scotland by dialling 101."

The public and businesses are encouraged to join Friends Against Scams and Businesses Against Scams, respectively. These initiatives aim to protect and prevent people and businesses from becoming scam victims by empowering them to take a stand against scams.

If you think you've been scammed, report it to Action Fraud, or if in Scotland dial 101 and report it to Police Scotland. Advice and guidance on how to protect yourself, or your business, from fraud and cybercrime, is available at www.gov.uk/coronavirus-fraud-and-cyber-crime.

To report email scams, contact the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) by emailing  report@phishing.gov.uk

 

ENDS

 

Notes for Editors:

CTSI Press Office: pressoffice@tsi.org.uk, 01268 582240

Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI)

CTSI is a training and membership organisation that has represented the interests of the Trading Standards profession since 1881 nationally and internationally. We aim to raise the profile of the profession while working towards fairer, better informed and safer consumer and business communities. CTSI's members are engaged in delivering frontline trading standards services in local authorities and in businesses. www.tradingstandards.uk



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