How Beat Amazon Scams and Stay Safe When Shopping Online

With Amazon being the largest online retailer worldwide, it's easy to see why scammers target its customers. Educate yourself, so you don't fall victim to an Amazon scam.


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Updated 3 May 2021
How Beat Amazon Scams and Stay Safe When Shopping Online
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United States Scam & Fraud Statistics 2020


$3.3 billion total fraud losses
4.7 million fraud reports

1.4 million reports of identity theft

Source: 2019-20 Consumer Sentinel Report

Sections on this page
  1. What Are the Best Practices When Using Amazon?
  2. Red Flags of Amazon Scams
  3. What’s the Best Way to Protect Yourself From Amazon Scams
  4. Report Amazon Scams
  5. Frequently Asked Questions About Amazon Scams

Whether it’s the age-old Amazon Prime renewal scam or phone call scammers pretending to be security officials, Amazon has long been the target of ambitious bad actors looking to take advantage of customers. Here are some tips on how to beat Amazon scams and stay safe.

What Are the Best Practices When Using Amazon?

Before finalizing a transaction, it’s always best to ask questions. You should only complete the purchase after you’re completely comfortable. In addition, to avoid getting scammed:

  • Don’t deal with a seller that tries to get you to leave Amazon’s website. Real Amazon transactions always happen on Amazon’s site.
  • Don’t send money, using any method, to a seller who says that Amazon can guarantee a safe transaction, give you a refund, or keep your money in escrow.
  • Don’t pay money to claim a prize or lottery winnings. Also, don’t pay money upfront to someone promising to give you more later.
  • Don’t pay money to gain access to a credit card or loan that’s "guaranteed."
  • Don’t reply to offers over the phone or internet unless you are sure the person is honest.
  • Don’t give money to anyone whose identity you can’t confirm.
  • Don’t reply to emails asking for personal information, passwords, or other contact information, such as your email address. Amazon doesn’t ask for personal information.
  • Activate two-step verification to provide an extra layer of security to your account.

Red Flags of Amazon Scams

Here are some red flags of the most common scams to look out for on Amazon:

  • Suspicious emails or text messages
  • Non-Amazon links/URLs
  • Payment information change request
  • Request to install software to your device/s
  • Grammatical and spelling errors or typos
  • A call from Amazon

Suspicious Emails or Texts

If you receive an email that looks like it’s from Amazon but has some questionable elements (e.g., blurry images, weird design, typos), it’s likely a scam. Don’t click on any links. If you want to check the status of an order, just log into your Amazon account directly from the Amazon website or via the app.

Non-Amazon URLs

A link to a website that looks like Amazon.com but has a different address is a scam website. Any legitimate Amazon.com web page will have “amazon.com” as the main domain. For example, the pharmacy page on Amazon has the URL, “pharmacy.amazon.com.” If you ever click a link and end up on a site that doesn’t have a real Amazon domain in this format, it’s fake.

Contact Details

Amazon



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It's important to verify links and contact details to beat imposters.

Request to Change Your Payment Information

In some cases, scammers will send you a request to change your payment information for an account that’s not connected to an order you’ve placed with Amazon or an Amazon service you’ve already subscribed to. That’s a sure sign of a phishing attempt.

Request to Install Software

If you get an attachment or a prompt asking you to install software on your device this is a scam. Amazon doesn’t require you to download and install additional software in order to use the website or its services.

Typos or Bad Spelling and Grammar

Always be on the lookout for misspellings, grammatical errors, and typos within any email, text message, or website. Amazon’s communications with you should be free from any errors like this.

Call from Amazon

Amazon doesn’t call its customers unless you have requested a callback. If someone calls you claiming they’re from Amazon and asks you for personal information, hang up and don’t give them any details. If you’re unsure if they’re actually from Amazon, hang up and send Amazon an email.

What’s the Best Way to Protect Yourself From Amazon Scams

Knowing how to protect yourself from Amazon scams is the first step to keeping your money and information safe from scammers.

Keep Your Information to Yourself

Don’t give out gift card information over the phone to pay a third-party seller. The same goes for requests sent via email or text message. Amazon will never send an invoice to you requesting that you pay for something using your Amazon gift card.

Use Amazon’s Payment System

Do not initiate a payment unless it is on Amazon’s legitimate site. This applies regardless of the payment method. A scammer could use a fake site to gather sensitive information and use it to steal from you.

Never pay someone who claims that the payment will guarantee a transaction—including people who claim that if you pay them, they can ensure you get a refund if you’re unsatisfied with your purchase. This kind of scam can also come in the form of someone saying they will hold your funds in escrow.

Don’t Respond to Suspicious Emails

Do not reply to messages containing offers that are too good to be true. This includes items that are priced far below the typical asking price, as well as those the seller claims to be selling at such low prices because they need to get rid of them quickly.

Use a Strong Password and Two-Step Verification

It’s important to use a strong and unique Amazon password to stop scammers from accessing your account. Additionally, turn on two-step verification (2SV) so even if someone does have your Amazon password, they will still need to get past an extra layer of security.

Report Amazon Scams

If someone scammed you on Amazon, the best thing to do is report the issue immediately. You can do this in several ways.

Report Security Breaches

If you’ve discovered a security vulnerability relating to a product Amazon sells or any of their retail services, you should submit any important details using Amazon’s web form.

Report Unauthorized Activity

If you feel you’ve been targeted by a suspicious credit card transaction scam, fraudulent purchase, request for a password change, or change to your account, you should quickly report unauthorized activity.

Report Phishing Amazon Scams

If you’ve received a suspicious email, you should report it to Amazon. A phishing email is one where the attacker is trying to get you to divulge sensitive information. They can then try to use this to defraud or impersonate you to access your accounts.

Report Vulnerabilities with Amazon Web Services

If you have issues with Amazon Web Services, you can report vulnerabilities online.

Report Job Fraud

If you feel you may have received a fraudulent request for Amazon employment, you should try to get Amazon fraud protection by sending an email to [email protected].

Report Amazon Scams

Anytime you think someone has fraudulently contacted you while pretending to represent Amazon, you should report it. Whether a scammer texted, emailed, or called you, reporting it can help Amazon fight the scams and protect others from falling for them.

Amazon.com can be a safe place to buy and sell, but it’s important to be careful while using the site or communicating with anyone claiming to represent Amazon. Remember to never give your personal information to anyone whose identity you can’t verify. If anything seems suspicious about a communication, web page, or transaction, it’s best to close the page or end the interaction and report it to Amazon.

You can also report Amazon scams to the authorities to help catch the scammers. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Amazon Scams

Can you get scammed on Amazon?

While it's less likely to be scammed while buying an item on Amazon, you can be scammed by people pretending to be Amazon representatives. They can contact you by phone, email, and text. 

Is there a scam going on with Amazon?

Multiple Amazon scams are making the rounds right now, including phishing scams, Amazon Prime scams, delivery scams, and brushing scams.

What happens if I press "1" on an Amazon scam call?

Amazon scam calls will vary, but generally, when you press "1" after being prompted by the recorded message, you will be transferred to a real person (i.e., the scammer). The scammer will then ask you for your personal information, including your credit card number attached to your Amazon account.

How do I report a scam to Amazon?

You can report scams to Amazon online or by sending an email. Be sure you report the scam to the right Amazon department.

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