With the option to buy gifts online and at the last minute, Christmas is, unfortunately, also a time when scammers hope to draw in cash from unsuspecting shoppers. Due to the popularity of Amazon, the site remains one of the top targets for fraudsters.
The retail giant has issued an urgent warning to customers to be wary of any fake correspondence trying to steal personal data such as user names, passwords and bank details.
Amazon says the most common scam has been fake messages informing customers that their products need confirmation before they can be shipped. The con artists will then try and trick people into providing their bank details and even install software to complete the order.
How to not fall victim to this scam?
Customers are being advised to verify their orders by logging into their Amazon accounts if they feel they have received any unexpected messages. The site says only legitimate purchases will appear in their order history but if needed, their customer service team is available 24/7.
Scammers have also been setting up imitation tech support stations. Customers are urged to only ever access support through official channels, such as the iPhone/Android app, or the official Amazon.co.uk website as this lowers the risk of their data being stolen. If you do have any issues with your account, the official Amazon website offers a ‘help’ section where it responds to customer queries.
How to spot a scam
According to Citizens Advice, there are several ways to keep yourself safe from scammers.
It says you should be on high alert if:
- Something sounds too good to be true
- You have been contacted by someone you don’t know
- There are signs you’re dealing with a fake company (e.g. they do not have an address)
- You are being told to transfer money urgently
- They are asking for an unusual form of payment (e.g. through iTunes vouchers)
- You have been asked for unusual personal information (e.g. passwords or PINs)
- There has been no written confirmation of what you agreed
- There is a sense of urgency