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Amazon Prime fraudsters are using coronavirus crisis to target victims in phishing scam | #coronavirus | #scams | #covid19

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Amazon Prime fraudsters are using coronavirus crisis to target victims in phishing scam as people spend more time online during lockdown, warns trade body

Amazon Prime fraudsters are using the coronavirus crisis to target victims in a phishing scam as people spend more time online during lockdown.

The alarm was raised by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) after multiple reports of emails and phone calls that claimed the recipients had opened a premium account. 

The scammers then insisted that the account had been opened fraudulently through a security flaw on their computer.

A warning has been issued over an Amazon Prime phishing scam where fraudsters pose as customer service staff to steal personal information (stock image)

A warning has been issued over an Amazon Prime phishing scam where fraudsters pose as customer service staff to steal personal information (stock image)

The fraudsters then posed as Amazon customer service representatives and asked to be given remote access to a user’s computer to fix the breach, enabling them to then access personal information, including passwords and bank details.

One email version of the scam also claimed the recipient had started an Amazon Music subscription for £28.99 a month.

Users were told to click a link and enter their bank card details in order to receive a refund – but their details are instead sent straight to the scammers. 

The alarm was raised by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute after multiple reports of emails and phone calls that claimed the recipients had opened a premium account (stock image)

Katherine Hart, lead officer at CTSI, said the coronavirus pandemic and the extra time people are spending online makes them more vulnerable to such scams.

‘Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, people are spending more time at home and more people are using internet platforms for shopping than ever before,’ she said.

‘Phishing scams targeting users of big platforms like Amazon have existed for a long time, but the current crisis has made them more vulnerable.

‘Amazon will never cold-call customers, nor ask for remote computer access or payment over the phone.

‘Do not give any details to the caller, and always verify directly with Amazon by logging into your official account and contacting customer support.

‘Anyone who receives these calls or emails should report them to Action Fraud, or if in Scotland report it to Police Scotland by dialling 101.’

CTSI also encouraged anyone who receives what they believe to be a scam email to send it to the National Cyber Security Centre, which launched a scam-reporting service earlier this year.

People can report email scams to the service by forwarding them to report@phishing.gov.uk

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