A scam where fraudsters pose as Amazon customer service staff to steal personal information has been flagged by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI).
It warns that people are being contacted with emails and phone calls claiming they have opened an Amazon Prime account.
The scammers then inform the recipient that the account was opened fraudulently through a security flaw on their computer and, posing as Amazon customer service representatives, ask to be given remote access to a user’s computer to fix the breach – enabling them to then steal personal information including passwords and bank details.
One email version of the scam also claims the recipient has started an Amazon Music subscription for £28.99 a month and tells them 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.
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 (NCSC), which launched a scam-reporting service earlier this year.
People can report email scams to the service by forwarding them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In a statement, Amazon said: “We take phishing and spoofing attempts on our customers seriously, and will never call a customer for payment outside of our website.
“If a customer has concerns or receives a call they believe is not from Amazon, they can check the Amazon.co.uk help pages.”
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