Rockford, Illinois News

Con artists posing as Amazon workers

ROCKFORD — There’s new scam for consumers to be aware of, says the Better Business Bureau.

Local BBB officials say con artists are posing as Amazon employees, calling people, and claiming to need information about their account. And if that isn’t
wasn’t tricky enough, they are spoofing phone numbers to appear legitimate.

The scam works when a consumer answers the phone, and hears a recorded message claiming to be from Amazon, stating there is a problem with their Amazon account.  The recording makes a variety of claims, including fraudulent charges on Prime cards lost or damaged packages, or unfulfilled order for an Apple iPhone 10.
to a lost or damaged package to an unfulfilled order for an iPhone 10.

“No matter what the recording is, these scammers have the same goal: getting your personal information,” said Dennis Horton, director of Rockford Regional Office of the Better Business Bureau. “The con artists will either outright ask for credit card and account login details, or they will request remote access to your computer under the guise of ‘helping’ to solve the issue.”

There’s also a confusing twist. Some con artists are spoofing other organizations’ phone numbers, including that of the Better Business Bureau, to help disguise their calls and lend them credibility.

Horton said there are ways to spot the scam before people become victims, including being skeptical of email and unsolicited calls. Some departments at Amazon will call customers, but Amazon will never ask to disclose or verify sensitive personal information or offer unexpected refund.

“Amazon will never ask you to make a payment outside of their website, and will never ask you for remote access to your device,” he said.

Other ways to avoid being ripped off are to ignore unsolicited messages that ask for personal information and requests to pay via wire transfer, prepaid debit card or CashApp, MoneyPak, iTunes or similar cards.

“These are almost always a sign of fraud,” Horton said.

Anyone who receives a questionable email or call from someone claiming to be from Amazon or impersonating an Amazon employee is urged to report it to Amazon.

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