Scammers have been found to be impersonating Amazon and using claims of an Apple iPhone purchase to trick unsuspecting consumers into handing over personal and financial information. This is only one of many scams to be aware of when online shopping, but it is one worth knowing about. Here's how to avoid falling victim to the Amazon imposter iPhone scam.
With Amazon and Apple being such popular options for consumers, it's not surprising that they are both used by scammers. In fact, they can sometimes be used together to further appeal to and trick consumers. For example, there is the Amazon AirPods raffle scam, which looks to trick people by contacting them over a free pair of AirPods. In the case of the Amazon imposter iPhone scam, there are no rewards or winnings offered, but it’s just as much of a scam.
The Amazon imposter scam was first reported by the Better Business Bureau back in February 2021. However, a subsequent report by ABC Action News in Florida highlights that it is still in effect and a problem for consumers. In terms of the scam, consumers receive phone calls claiming to be on behalf of Amazon and advising of suspicious charges on an account. While the charges can be for a variety of items, the iPhone is specifically mentioned as a very common one. For example, the Florida report highlights the alleged purchase was for a $999 iPhone 12. The caller then offers to help protect the user’s account from the purchase by requesting credit card information and/or remote access to their computer. Either way, the goal here is to obtain personal information.
Does Amazon Call To Confirm Large Purchases?
The main way to avoid getting caught up in this scam is to be extra cautious when receiving phone calls like these in general. Amazon says that while some departments may call customers, the company will never as users to reveal personal information or offer an unexpected refund. Essentially, Amazon will never ask a customer for credit card details, or for remote access to the user’s computer. Likewise, it is highly unlikely that Amazon will call the user to begin with. Instead, the company is much more likely to email them if there's an issue with a transaction. Whether Amazon does call or email, someone from the company almost certainly wouldn't ask for any urgent actions. In other words, if the caller is asking for something to be done right now, then that should be a warning that it could be a scam.
But those aren't the only red flags to look for. As the FTC reminds, if someone misses a call and the number leaves a voicemail talking about this iPhone/Amazon scam, don't call the number back. Instead, visit Amazon's website, find the official customer support number, and call that to confirm if something is actually wrong with your account. Along with scammers asking for debit or credit card information, someone asking you to pay for something with gift cards is also a huge warning.
It is also worth keeping in mind that these imposter scams are not just a problem for Amazon customers. Similar to how an iPhone purchase might not be the only reason used to contact someone, other company names might also be used to gain the trust of a consumer. It just so happens that Amazon and Apple are popular enough that they are being used frequently with this particular scam.
Tips To Avoid Amazon Scams
Amazon scams are so common that the e-commerce company even offers several tips on how to avoid getting conned. First and foremost, Amazon advises customers to never buy an item from a seller who directs them off the Amazon website. Products on Amazon are sourced from third-party sellers, but all transactions and communications need to happen over the Amazon app or website. Additionally, users should not transfer money to a seller who claims that Amazon will guarantee the transaction or provide a refund.
Users should also be aware that no one from Amazon will call them about making a payment to claim lottery or prize winnings or a guaranteed credit card loan. While not falling for calls by scammers is one thing, users should also be wary of any emails from Amazon asking for their email password or any payment-related information.