Amazon impersonators stole $27m over the last 12 months

Fraudsters pretending to be ecommerce giant Amazon employees scammed US consumers out of $27 million from July 2020 to June 2021.

The fraudsters were part of a “business impersonator” scam, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

The FTC reported a fivefold increase in Amazon impersonators over the last 12 months.

Around 96,000 people reported being targeted by Amazon-related scams during the period, accounting for 35 per cent of all consumer complaints about business fraudsters.

The agency claims that posing as Amazon is a “runaway favourite” ploy for scammers, while tech giant Apple account for 6 per cent (16,000) of the complaints.

Around 6,000 victims of Amazon cons said that they lost money to the scams, typically around $1,000.

READ MORE: Amazon is expected to make $393bn more than Walmart this year

Due to the fact that these instances are self-reported, the true figure is likely to be much higher.

Adults ages 60 or over are more at risk, being four times more likely to report that they’d lost money to scammers pretending to be Amazon than younger consumers, according to the FTC.

Older victims typically lost almost double the amount as younger ones, giving the scammers $1500 on average.

In a lot of cases, fake Amazon representatives call about suspicious activity on a users’s account before requesting access to their account to “fix” the issue and provide a refund, the imposter then pay “too large a refund” back before asking the customer to return the difference.

Other scams involve the use of Amazon gift cards whereby scammers tell consumers to buy gift cards and send pictures of the numbers on the back.

They say that sharing the numbers can stop hackers who have supposedly hacked the customer’s account.

Another commonly used scam is to send a customer a text message claiming they have won a raffle for a free Amazon product, however ask the consumer for their credit card information to pay for the shipping costs.



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