Amazon

Amazon In Depth

Sections on this page
  1. Common Amazon Scams
  2. How to Beat Amazon Scams
  3. Protection Against Amazon Scams

Amazon is one of the largest online retailers globally, which unfortunately has led to a plethora of Amazon scams. Started in 1994 by Jeff Bezos, the company has grown from selling only books to selling everything from clothing to home goods, food, and electronics. Amazon now has more than 150 million paying Amazon Prime Members and more than 212 million unique visitors each month.

In addition to being an online retailer, Amazon is also a technology company. In 2002 Amazon launched a cloud-computing service called Amazon Web Services. The company also developed and started selling the Kindle e-reader in 2007 and tablet computer, the Kindle Fire, in 2012. Even with success on the business's technology side, Amazon's main profits come from e-commerce.

Common Amazon Scams

Amazon is a large company with millions of customers and sellers, making it a prime target for scams. Some of the most common Amazon scams you should be aware of include:

  • Gift card scams
  • Job scams
  • Phishing scams
  • Voucher/coupon scams
  • Fake review scams
  • Delivery scams
  • Brushing scams
  • Amazon Prime renewal scams

Amazon Gift Card Scam

In this Amazon gift card scam, you're contacted by a scammer by phone, email, or social media. They will claim they work for Amazon and says you owe money on your account. The scammer will request you pay the fee in the form of an Amazon gift card.

Once you buy the gift card, the scammer will ask for the claim code on the back of the card and use the entire balance. At this point, the scam is complete—there was never any amount owing on your Amazon account, and you'll never hear from the scammer again. 

Amazon Job Scam

Scammers will call and ask if you're interested in a remote position with Amazon. If you're interested, you're directed to a fake Amazon job site to complete an application. These fake applications will ask for personal information, which the scammer can use to steal your identity. These Amazon scams could also come via email that directs you to apply for a fake Amazon job.

Amazon Phishing Scams

Phishing scams are among the most common Amazon scams where scammers attempt to steal your personal information. In this scam, you receive an email or text from a fake Amazon account claiming something is wrong with your account or recent order, and you need to sign in to fix it. There's also a version of this scam where the message says you've won a free gift or reward.

Amazon phishing email example
Red flags of fake Amazon emails include those sent from non-Amazon email addresses.

Within the email, you'll get a link to sign in to your account, which will bring you to a fake Amazon page. When you enter your information, your credentials are sent to the scammer. The scammer uses this information to sign in to your account and steal additional details. This scam can also happen over the phone, where the scammer asks you to tell them your login information, and even via a text message that includes a link to a phishing website.

Example Amazon rewards text message.
Amazon does not send text messages about a rewards program—do not click the link in these messages.

 

Amazon Voucher Scam

In this Amazon scam, you're sent an email claiming Amazon wants to reward you for being loyal and offers a phony voucher good toward any Amazon purchase. To claim the coupon, you'll need to click on a link that directs you to a page where you'll enter your Amazon login information. Once you enter your data, the Amazon scammers will be able to log into your account.

Example of fake Amazon gift card reward email.
Although some emails may seem legitimate, using the Amazon logo and branding, always check links before clicking on them. If they don't take you to an official Amazon.com address, don't proceed.

Amazon Review Scam

Sellers can lose their credibility when scammers write fake negative reviews. Once they post the review, the scammers then upvote the review by clicking the "helpful" button. Doing this pushes the review toward the top of the page and deters legitimate buyers from purchasing the product.

Fake Amazon reviews.
Fake Amazon reviews are often short with very little detail on the actual items.

Failed Delivery Scam

These Amazon scams target Amazon sellers who don't use tracking methods on their sales. Scammers buy products then can claim the product never arrived (even though it did), so they get a full refund from the seller as well as a free product. 

Amazon Brushing Scam

A brushing scam is when you receive an unsolicited package from an Amazon seller. The goal of this scam is to get fake positive reviews on their products. Scammers use your personal information to buy their products then will leave a verified review on their page. 

How to Beat Amazon Scams

You can beat most Amazon scams as long as you stay vigilant and aware of the red flags; follow these tips:

  • Never give your personal information to anyone over the phone (including your Amazon username and password).
  • Don't click on any email links. If you want to check your Amazon account, log in directly from the Amazon app or visit https://www.amazon.com/
  • Don't pay for items outside of Amazon using Amazon gift cards
  • Don't ever give anyone else your Amazon gift card codes (even if they tell you it's to pay your Amazon account). 
  • Always question the person claiming to be from Amazon—don't believe everything you hear or read. 
Contact Details

Amazon



Verified.org

Verified Contact Details

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

Protection Against Amazon Scams

If you fall victim to an Amazon scam or receive any communication resembling it, you can report it to [email protected].

Report Scam Emails

If you receive a scam email, Amazon asks that you take a screenshot of the email and send it as an attachment. You can forward the fraud email, but sending it as an attachment makes it easier for Amazon to track. When you email Amazon, you'll receive an automated email letting you know they received your claim, but you likely won't get a personal response since Amazon deals with so many scams.

Report Brushing Scams

If you're a victim of a brushing scam, Amazon asks that you send a photo of the shipping label to Customer Service so they can investigate the scammer. You can then dispose of the item. You do not need to return it.

Secure Your Amazon Account

If you were a victim of a phone or email scam and provided a scammer with account information, contact the Customer Protection Review team. They will make sure your Amazon information is secure and may be able to refund you, depending on the situation.

Scams Impacting Amazon

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Amazon OTP Delivery Email: Protection Against Fraud
8 September 2021 |

Amazon OTP Delivery Email: Protection Against Fraud

You can fight scammers who order big-ticket items from your Amazon account with a one-time password that stops them from receiving the item.

Have You Claimed Amazon Rewards Credit? You May Have Been Scammed
13 July 2021 |

Have You Claimed Amazon Rewards Credit? You May Have Been Scammed

Don't get too excited if you receive a text message from "Amazon" claiming you've won a prize—scammers are impersonating the brand in this phishing scam.

Amazon Gift Card Scams: Stay Safe, Never Pay Via Gift Cards

Amazon Gift Card Scams: Stay Safe, Never Pay Via Gift Cards

If anyone asks for payment via Amazon gift cards, it's likely a scam, especially if it's someone claiming to be from a government agency.

Brushing Scams: Receiving Packages You Didn't Order
12 July 2021 |

Brushing Scams: Receiving Packages You Didn't Order

Although somewhat harmless, being a target of a brushing scam can mean your information is compromised and could lead to more harmful scams.

How to Beat Amazon Scam Calls: Red Flags To Watch Out For
16 April 2021 |

How to Beat Amazon Scam Calls: Red Flags To Watch Out For

If you receive a call from Amazon about suspicious activity on your account, it's likely a scam, and you should hang up immediately.

Amazon Brushing Scam: Receiving Packages You Didn't Order
13 April 2021 |

Amazon Brushing Scam: Receiving Packages You Didn't Order

Received an Amazon package that you didn't order? Check your account—scammers could be posting fake reviews on your behalf.

How to Beat the 'Amazon Prime Renewal' Scam Call: Red Flags
9 April 2021 |

How to Beat the 'Amazon Prime Renewal' Scam Call: Red Flags

This scam starts with a recorded message about an early (or unwanted) Amazon Prime renewal. To 'cancel' you will unknowingly be transferred to a scammer impersonating 'Amazon.'

Shipping Scams Use Fake Emails to Steal Your Information
3 February 2020 |

Shipping Scams Use Fake Emails to Steal Your Information

Scammers are sending convincing emails, posing as shipping companies and online shopping sites, in order to collect your personal information.

Scams in Other Categories...
How Do You Beat Gift Card Scams? Never Pay Using Gift Cards

How Do You Beat Gift Card Scams? Never Pay Using Gift Cards

Beating this scam is simple—don't pay for anything using gift cards and don't give anyone you don't know or trust your gift card information.

How to Identify a Fake Email from Your Bank & Protect Yourself

How to Identify a Fake Email from Your Bank & Protect Yourself

Scammers impersonate well-known banks, such as Citibank and Chase, to trick you into giving up your sensitive information—learn how to beat these scams.

Guides To Protect Against Retail/Sales Scams

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How Beat Amazon Scams and Stay Safe When Shopping Online
3 May 2021 |

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.

Tell-Tale Signs of Amazon Fake Reviews to Look For
21 April 2021 |

Tell-Tale Signs of Amazon Fake Reviews to Look For

Not all Amazon product reviews are legit, with scammers impersonating buyers in order to boost their own products and increase sales.

How to Buy the Real Baby Yoda Doll (The Child) Plush Toy and Identify Fakes
12 February 2021 |

How to Buy the Real Baby Yoda Doll (The Child) Plush Toy and Identify Fakes

Many 3rd party sellers on eBay, Amazon and other sites are using the official Disney picture of 'The Child' from the Mandalorian, aka Baby Yoda to sell counterfeit plush dolls.

Guides in Other Categories...
How to Tell if Nikes Are Fakes: From Tags to the Stitching
20 August 2021 |

How to Tell if Nikes Are Fakes: From Tags to the Stitching

Nike is one of the biggest brands targeted by counterfeiters and scammers—be extra careful with Nike products from non-official retailers as you could end up with a fake.

Authentic NFL Jerseys: How to Spot a Fake from the Real Deal
19 May 2021 |

Authentic NFL Jerseys: How to Spot a Fake from the Real Deal

Buying genuine NFL jerseys can be tricky, especially if you're trying to find a bargain. Chances are, you're going to find a lot of counterfeits.

News About Retail/Sales Scams

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News in Other Categories...
Nike Teams Up with U.S. Customs to Stop Counterfeiters
23 August 2021 |

Nike Teams Up with U.S. Customs to Stop Counterfeiters

Nike is taking a stand against counterfeiters and stopping fake products before they hit U.S. soil.

N.J. Man Pleads Guilty to SIM Swapping Conspiracy Stealing Over $500k From Victims
5 October 2021 |

N.J. Man Pleads Guilty to SIM Swapping Conspiracy Stealing Over $500k From Victims

This case shows just why you need to be aware of SIM swapping and how to protect your cell phone number from criminals like this.

Student Loan Scammers Arrested After Stealing $6.1 Million
22 September 2021 |

Student Loan Scammers Arrested After Stealing $6.1 Million

After a 3-year long scam, Angela Mirabella and six others have been indicted on several charges, including grand theft.

FBI Warns Fake COVID Vaccine Cards Could Lead to Prison Time
14 September 2021 |

FBI Warns Fake COVID Vaccine Cards Could Lead to Prison Time

Taking a chance on a fake COVID-19 vaccination card seems like an easy way to get around requirements, but think again before you land yourself in prison.

Beware of this New Scam Involving A Fake Call from CBP
10 September 2021 |

Beware of this New Scam Involving A Fake Call from CBP

Sometimes it just safer not to pick up calls from unknown phone numbers.