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  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 7, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Amazon, , ,   

    Amazon refund call is a scam 

    Amazon refund call is a scam

    By Greg Collier

    Lately, it seems that Amazon has been used the most by online scammers. In the past couple of weeks, we’ve posted about a couple of different scams where scammers have posed as Amazon employees to fleece their victims. In both cases the victims were told that someone made a false purchase on their Amazon accounts. One victim was approached by email while the other received a robocall. Now, there’s a scam going around using the Amazon name that’s not using the false order angle. This scam uses the one thing that could motivate someone more than a phony order and that’s a refund.

    Many people from around the country have reported receiving phone calls from someone claiming to be from Amazon. They are then told that due to fraud activity on their account that they’re due a refund. The first catch is that the fake Amazon rep needs remote access to your computer. The second catch is that the victim is asked to log into their Amazon account. If that wasn’t enough, the victim is then asked to log into their bank account, so the refund could be processed. Yet, the scam still isn’t over. The scammer will then try to convince the victim that they were refunded too much money and need to buy gift cards to pay back the overage. This is a scam on top of a scam on top of a scam. Scamception if you will.

    You should never allow anyone to have remote access to your computer. No legitimate company or agency would ever need remote access to your computer. Not only does this allow anyone to peer into your private files, but they could also plant any kind of malware into your system. If you log into your Amazon account while you’re remote sharing, the scammers will now have your Amazon login information. The same goes for your bank login. And of course, gift cards should only be for gifts and not for making any kind of payment. As we are fond of saying, gift cards have become the currency of con artists.

    If you were actually due a refund from Amazon for whatever reason, it would be automatically returned to whatever card you used to make that purchase. Amazon will not call you out of the blue to tell you that you have a refund.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 2, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Amazon, , , , ,   

    Amazon robocall scam on the rise 

    Amazon robocall scam on the rise

    By Greg Collier

    Not too long ago, we posted about an email phishing scam where the scammers posed as online retailer Amazon. Essentially, the victim received an email that said someone had made a large purchase on their Amazon account. When they called the phony customer service number included in the email they were told to buy thousands of dollars in gift cards to cancel the order. This scam seems to have returned with a vengeance across the county except this time in the form of robocalls.

    Robocalls are those automated spam calls that many of use keep receiving. It’s become an almost unavoidable everyday occurrence. Robocalls are illegal in the United States, but scammers rarely ever care about the law. This is why you still receive these calls even after being added to the national do not call list.

    Many reports are coming in from all over the country where consumers say they’ve been receiving robocalls purporting to be from Amazon. It’s an automated voice message that wants to confirm a high-dollar purchase that you supposedly made on Amazon. The message then provides a number to a phony customer service number which most certainly is not to Amazon. Other robocalls of this sort will ask you to press 1 to be transferred to someone who again, most likely does not work for Amazon.

    As we previously advised, if you receive one of these calls, do not call the number provided or press whatever number the call suggests to talk to someone. Instead, log into your Amazon account to make sure that no order of that type has been made to your account. If it has, you can dispute the order with Amazon right on their platform. We also recommend routinely changing your Amazon password if you receive one of these scam calls or emails.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on March 16, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Amazon, , , , , ,   

    Victim loses $16,000 in Amazon scam 

    Victim loses $16,000 in Amazon scam

    By Greg Collier

    Amazon scams are nothing new. To be clear, we’re not talking about scams perpetrated by the online retailer giant. Instead, we’re talking about scams that use the Amazon name. The most infamous of these scams is the brushing scam. The brushing scam is when you get sent packages to your home of things you didn’t order. Usually, these packages come from Amazon and contain low-cost items. This is done so third-party vendors that sell through Amazon can give themselves good online reviews in your name, and the review shows up on Amazon as a verified purchase giving the phony review more legitimacy. In turn, this leads to these products being more recommended by Amazon. Sometimes, these items are charged to someone’s Amazon account.

    Today, we’re going to talk about what we’re going to call the false order scam. In this scam, the victim receives an email that looks like it came from Amazon. The email claims that expensive and high-end items have been charged to you. It then conveniently goes on to say that if you didn’t order these items, call the toll-free number contained in the email. The phone number goes to a phony customer service department that will either try to steal your personal and financial information or your money.

    Recently, a woman in North Carolina fell victim to this scam and lost $16,000. She received a scam email and when she called the fake customer service number she was instructed that she needed to buy thousands of dollars in gift cards to cancel the phony purchase. What made this scam particularly egregious was when the scammer stayed on the phone with the woman the entire time she went from store to store buying multiple gift cards. When she started suspecting this was a scam the scammer allegedly said that “You called us, scammers call you.”

    This is nowhere near being true. Scammers often set up phony customer service numbers for popular platforms. The Cash App customer service scam is one that immediately comes to mind.

    There are several ways to protect yourself from this kind of scam. The first is to check the email address from the sender. If it’s not from Amazon.com, it’s a scam. Also, before you go calling anyone suggested by the email, you can go into your Amazon account and check your order history to see if the order is real or not. Lastly, if you actually need to call Amazon, you can click on the Customer Service tab at the top of Amazon’s website for more information.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on February 4, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Amazon, , face masks, ,   

    New brushing scam sends out face masks 

    New brushing scam sends out face masks

    It was only a couple of weeks ago when we talked about the last brushing scam. That scam had people receiving a bluish-white powder in the mail.

    For those of you who may not know, a brushing scam is when you get sent packages to your home of things you didn’t order. Usually, these packages come from Amazon and contain low-cost items. This is done so third-party vendors that sell through Amazon can give themselves good online reviews in your name, and the review shows up on Amazon as a verified purchase giving the phony review more legitimacy. In turn, this leads to these products being more recommended by Amazon.

    The most recent brushing scam has consumers receiving a delivery of face masks. They’re said to be arriving in Amazon packages but being shipped from China. If you receive one of these packages, it’s recommended that you throw the masks out. You may also want to check your Amazon account to make sure your account has not been compromised. Even if it hasn’t been compromised, it is highly recommended that you change your Amazon password. If you were to leave your password unchanged, it could lead to items being purchased with your payment information. It could also lead to potential identity theft.

    If you shop at different online retailers, you should have a different password for each retailer. A password manager is recommended to assist you with that. Also, you should keep an eye on your credit as brushing scammers could potentially have your financial information.

    If any of your debit or credit cards have been used in this scam you’ll want to cancel them and have new ones issued. The only consolation to the victims of this scam is that they can legally keep the items sent to them, however, they’re usually not the type of items you’d normally want to keep.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on January 15, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Amazon, , , ,   

    New brushing scam sends you white powder 

    New brushing scam sends you white powder

    Brushing scams are unfortunately, nothing new. This is when you get sent packages to your home of things you didn’t order. Usually, they come from Amazon or some other large online retailer. This is done so third-party vendors with these retailers can give themselves good online reviews in your name. This makes it look like their product was favorably reviewed by verified purchasers. The most infamous brushing scam took place over this past summer when thousands of consumers received unsolicited packages of seeds in the mail.

    We may be facing yet another one of these massive brushing scam incidents. Police in the Indianapolis metro are reporting that residents there have been receiving quite an ominous delivery that they didn’t order. These packages have been said to contain a blue and white powdery substance. Local police say the substance isn’t harmful, but residents should still avoid contact with it. They are also recommending that if you receive one of these packages to contact your local police. The US Postal Inspection Service says that they’ve received reports of consumers from across the country receiving these packages.

    While police in Indiana are stating that the scammers are getting consumers’ personal information from public sources like social media, often these brushing scams can mean one of your online accounts has been compromised. For example, if you received one of these brushing packages from Amazon, your Amazon account may have been compromised. It’s recommended that you change your password if this happens to you. If you were to leave your password the way it is, that could lead to items being purchased with your money. There is also the potential that it could lead to identity theft.

    While the brushing scam may seem relatively harmless at first, it could lead to a world of trouble if the consumer isn’t careful.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on December 7, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Amazon, , ,   

    Brushing scams return in time for the holidays 

    Brushing scams return in time for the holidays

    While brushing scams have been around for a while, they came to prominence over the summer. That’s when a multitude of consumers across the country received unsolicited packages of seeds in the mail. While the latest round of brushing scams don’t appear to have the same scope as the seed scam, that doesn’t make them any less of a risk.

    If you’re unfamiliar with a brushing scam, it’s when overseas scammers send items to your home that you didn’t order. Usually, these items are sent from major online retailers like Amazon and Walmart. Brushing scammers are usually third party sellers on these retailer’s sites who are using the phony sales to inflate their review scores. Basically, the scammers will send you the product, then use that as a verified purchase to give themselves a good review. That’s just one of the many reasons why you shouldn’t believe every product review on a retailer’s website.

    Even though you may have received some products that are legally yours to keep, your personal information could be the cost. In many brushing scam cases, if you’re receiving these unsolicited items, it could mean that your retail accounts have been compromised. A number of these retailers allow you to keep your payment information on file. Potentially, these brushing scammers could also be making purchases through your account which you could be responsible for.

    The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers that if you receive unsolicited products, check your retail accounts to make sure that you haven’t been charged for any unauthorized purchases. You should also change the passwords on your retail accounts to try to prevent scams like this from happening to you in the future. Lastly, you should report any unsolicited products you receive to the retailer as it could help put a stop to the brushing practice.

    With the holidays right around the corner and many of us receiving deliveries from major retailers, these brushing packages could go unnoticed. Keep an eye on your deliveries and your credit and debit card statements to make sure you’re not being scammed.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on October 13, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Amazon, , ,   

    Prime day brings plenty of scams 

    Prime day brings plenty of scams

    (The following post is not an endorsement for Amazon.com)

    Today, Tuesday, October 13, 2020, is the start of Amazon Prime Day. That’s when the online retail behemoth offers one-day exclusive deals to customers who pay for their annual Prime membership. Many view it as Amazon’s Black Friday. And just like Black Friday, many of the deals offered by Amazon can seem questionable at best. However, also like Black Friday, that’s not going to stop shoppers from making purchases they see as a good deal.

    Of course, there will be another Prime Day pitfall to look out for. Scammers will be out in full force looking to swindle you out of any savings you might have accrued.

    Reports are warning Amazon shoppers to be wary of any unsolicited phone calls you might receive that are claiming to be from Amazon. These calls will try to tell you that there’s been a fraudulent charge to your Amazon account or that something you ordered has been lost or damaged.

    If you receive one of these phone calls, it is recommended that you hang up without giving the caller any personal information. Instead, log in to your Amazon account and look at your order history to see if any of these claims are true.

    There may also be a resurgence of the phony delivery text message scam that we featured a few weeks ago. As always, never click a link on an unsolicited text message from someone you don’t know personally.

    In some extreme cases, phony Amazon reps will ask for remote access to your device in order to clear up any problems your account may have. Never allow a stranger to have remote access to your device as not only could they steal personal information but they could also install malware onto your device which would allow them to spy on your device at any time.

    Amazon’s customer support page can be found here.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on July 21, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Amazon, ,   

    BBB warns this Amazon scam is on the rise 

    BBB warns this Amazon scam is on the rise

    If you’re trying to maintain social distancing, you’re probably doing a fair bit of shopping online. When you shop online, it’s difficult to avoid a massive retailer like Amazon. Since so many third-party vendors sell their wares on Amazon, this can lead to some vendors trying to get one over on Amazon and its customers.

    The Better Business Bureau recently released a warning to consumers about a scam called brushing. This occurs when you receive an item that was delivered by Amazon that you didn’t order. Legally, you’re allowed to keep that item but it could indicate that your Amazon account has been compromised.

    Vendors do this to make it look like that you’ve purchased their product. They’ll then use your information to post a positive review of the product that’s marked as a verified purchase on Amazon. This is intended to gain a higher ranking on Amazon which in turn is supposed to lead to more sales for the vendor.

    But just stop and think a moment about what information is in your Amazon account. Not only is your home address listed within, but your payment information as well. These supposedly free items could be costing you without you even noticing it at first.

    So, what should you do if you start receiving these unsolicited deliveries? The first thing you should do is immediately change the password on your Amazon account. Since the scammers may have also compromised your email account you may want to consider changing the email address attached to your Amazon account also. These deliveries should also be reported to Amazon itself so they can take down any fake reviews in your name which is against their policy.

    If any of your debit or credit cards have been used in this scam you’ll want to cancel them and have new ones issued. The only consolation to the victim of this scam is that they can legally keep the items sent to them, however, they’re usually not the type of items you’d normally want to keep.

     
  • Geebo 8:22 am on April 29, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Amazon, , , , , ,   

    Some sites slow to pull bad COVID products 

    Some sites slow to pull bad COVID products

    As we have mentioned before, the current pandemic has been a boom period for all sorts of con artists and scammers. The scams started even before coronavirus even started claiming all the headlines. Even before stay at home orders were issued, scammers were already online selling masks that didn’t exist or harmful snake oil cures. Even with all that we currently know about COVID-19 these scams are continuing unabated. Now, these scams even have an air of legitimacy as many of them are appearing on legitimate commerce sites. The problem is that these commerce sites are slow to pull any dangerous or false products if they even pull them at all.

    A tech company by the name of Proxyway performed an investigation into several e-commerce sites that were selling harmful products that either claimed to test for or cure COVID-19. These dangerous products were reviewed by medical professionals to determine how harmful they were. The sites that Proxyway investigated were Alibaba, AliExpress, Amazon, Craigslist, and eBay. Alibaba and Craigslist would take up to a week before the hazardous products were removed. eBay would take an average of three days while Amazon would take an average of two. While two and three days may seem like a short time, any number of people could have ordered these risky products from what they might assume are legitimate retailers.

    While sites like Amazon and eBay employ reviewers to look out for unsafe products they’re still not infallible. Craigslist is worse since it relies on community policing which has bitten craigslist in the past. Just because something is on a website, no matter how legitimate the website might be, you can’t assume the product is safe, especially when it comes to COVD-19.

    As of the time of this posting, there are no cures for COVID-19 and there are no commercially available home testing kits.

    For all valid information about COVID-19 please visit Coronavirus.gov.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on January 16, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Amazon, , ,   

    Are counterfeits on Amazon a problem? 

    Are counterfeits on Amazon a problem?

    The other day, we posted about several scams that are targeting Amazon shoppers. The scams we mentioned all take place outside of Amazon. That’s not to say that there aren’t scams happening within Amazon. While Amazon is not directly responsible for this particular scam, they are said to be taking measures to combat the problem. What we’re talking about is counterfeits of brand name goods that are being sold through third-party vendors on Amazon. This isn’t the first problem Amazon has had with its third-party stores. Previously, there was an issue of some third-party vendors selling items that had been thrown in the trash.

    Fox Business is reporting that Amazon is getting more serious about cracking down on cheap knock-offs of name brands being sold on their platform. These counterfeits have come at a cost for Amazon as some name brands have refused to sell their products on Amazon because of the number of counterfeits being sold. Many of these counterfeits include such brands as Apple, Nike, Under Armour and Sony. Amazon has even faced a number of lawsuits over the number of counterfeits being sold. Since then Amazon has launched a number of programs to help rod their platform of counterfeits and have even enlisted the help of some well-known name brands.

    So what can we as consumers do to avoid buying counterfeits? When shopping on Amazon be aware of prices that are too low for the product in question. Read the Amazon reviews of the seller to see if they have a reputation for selling knock-offs. Be wary of pictures on the item page that are blurry or ill-defined. And if the seller wants you to contact them before you purchase the item, not only could it be a counterfeit product but it could potentially be a scam as well.

     
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