This week I received an automated call saying I’d just been charged for my Amazon Prime subscription and I could press ‘1’ to cancel the transaction. These Amazon Prime scam calls started back in October and have netted the fraudsters a fortune.
Apart from the fact my Amazon Prime subscription renewed in November, I instantly knew this was a scam call and hung up. However others haven’t been so fortunate and it turns out that some 5 or 600 people have lost over a million quid between them from this highly profitable scam. One victim, a man from Glasgow in his 60s, lost over £65,000 according to Action Fraud.
If you do press ‘1’ you are put through to a fake Amazon customer service rep who says the non-existent transaction was fraudulent and in order to fix a supposed security flaw you need to grant access to your computer. They instruct you to download Team Viewer and subsequently monitor you logging into your accounts including online banking giving them visibility of all your personal information and bank balances.
How to stay safe from the Amazon Prime scam calls
Never install any software as the result of a cold call. Unsolicited requests for remote access to your computer should always raise a red flag. We have seen similar calls from people purporting to be Microsoft support staff.
Always question uninvited approaches in case it’s a scam. Instead, contact the company directly using a known eamil address or phone number. It’s somewhat bizarre that when you contact any company, especially banks and online payment providers, they always want you to pass security questions but when they contact you the reverse isn’t true. Indeed, we are conditioned to everyone from banks to utility companies contacting us and still asking us to answer security questions.
Have the confidence to refuse unusual requests for personal or financial information. It is always OK to stop the discussion if you feel the slightest bit uncomfortable and scammers will try to use embarrassment to force you to continue. No reputable company would refuse you saying you’d prefer to hang up and you will phone back… just don’t phone back on a number they give you – look the number up and call on a number you know is genuine.
We get these calls at least twice a day on our work phone, its been happening for months now.
We have a friend defrauded out of £85,000 by a notice on his PC saying it was locked and to call a number at microsoft. He did and they talked to him for over an hour emptying his banks.
Then the best bit is he receives a text from his bank asking to confirm he had authorised the transfer of funds and to call them to confirm the transaction.
he rang them within 5 minutes and they said it was TOO LATE.
thats a good second tier of protective security.
The money went to Belize then Nepal.
fortunately he had a record of the call and the ombudsman enforced a full refund although it took 3 months.
This is daily attempted fraud on ‘000’s of, often older, people. If it was robbery police would be all over it. It’s just as illegal and far more is being stolen. It’s time resources were deployed in proportion to the scale of the problem.
I never get these Amazon Prime scam calls, but I read similar reports filed by people at consumer complaint boards about them since few weeks ago. Thank you for sharing this warning here. We should just hang up and block the numbers if we get calls from someone who ask for any kind of personal information over the phone.
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