Many well-known, large organizations, like Amazon and Apple, are often subject to fraudsters. These fraudsters may tell you that they work for a certain organization and can help you fix a certain “problem”. In most cases, they will use different tactics to try to gain access to your personal and confidential information, while attempting to “solve” the problem. Knowing what the scam is and how to protect yourself can help you keep your information safe from fraudsters.
Although there are many, there are two popular scams currently impacting Americans at an alarming rate. Fraudsters are acting like they are from the support teams from Amazon and Apple. These fraudsters will call you with a recorded message and indicate that they’ve located a problem with your Amazon account. This problem can include a suspicious purchase, a lost package, or an order that you’ve placed that they can’t fulfill. In particular for Apple, fraudsters will play a recorded message indicating that they’ve located suspicious activity on your Apple iCloud account or that your account has been impacted by a breach.
In all scenarios, the recording will prompt you to press the number “1” on your phone to speak to a live person, or they will provide you with a number and ask you to call that number. In both cases, pressing “1” or calling the number they provide may give them the ability to steal your information, including your credit card information and your account passwords.
If you receive a call from an Amazon or Apple support team member requesting that you give them personal information, press “1”, or call a certain number to get help with your account, hang up. These calls are not legitimate calls and are part of a fraudulent scam. If you receive a call like this and are concerned about your account, locate a phone number or email on the official Amazon or Apple website.
How can I protect myself?
As mentioned earlier, for these particular scams, hang up. Do not press “1”, do not give out any personal information, and do not call the number they provide. These are all tactics fraudsters will use to try to gain access to your information.
Below are some tips from the Better Business Bureau with information on how to spot this scam.
- Be skeptical of email and unsolicited calls. Some departments at Amazon will call customers, but Amazon will never ask you to disclose or verify sensitive personal information or offer you a refund you do not expect. Amazon will never ask you to make a payment outside of their website and will never ask you for remote access to your device.
- Ignore unsolicited messages that ask for personal information. Amazon will also never send you an unsolicited message that asks you to provide sensitive personal information, such as your tax ID, bank account number or credit card information.
- Ignore calls for immediate action. Scammers try to get you to act before you think by creating a sense of urgency. Don't fall for it.
- Beware of requests to pay via wire transfer, prepaid debit card or CashApp (such as MoneyPak, iTunes or similar cards). These are almost always a sign of fraud.
- Report it to Amazon. Any customer that receives a questionable email or call from a person impersonating an Amazon employee report them to Amazon customer service. Amazon investigates these complaints and will takes action, if warranted.
As always, First Bank is committed to helping you keep your personal information safe. If you believe you were a victim of an Amazon or Apple scam and have provided your account information to someone, please call the First Bank Service Center at 800-760-2265. In addition, you can also report the scam to the Federal Trade commission here. For more information on protecting yourself and your financial information from fraudulent scams, visit our Security Hub.
Federal Trade Commission, Fake calls from Apple and Amazon Support: What you need to know
Better Business Bureau, BBB Scam Alert, Phony Amazon callers are phishing for your info