Amazon Prime has become an indispensable part of many households, offering countless benefits like free two-day shipping, access to streaming services, and exclusive deals. However, as with any popular service, the bad guys are always looking for unsuspecting victims. Here are some of the common Amazon Prime member scams and tips on how to avoid falling victim to these fraudulent schemes.
Phishing Emails and Fake Websites
Scammers will craft emails that appear to be from Amazon, enticing you to click on malicious links or asking for personal information, such as your login credentials, credit card details, or social security number.
- How to avoid it: Amazon will never ask you for sensitive information via email, so always verify the sender’s email address before clicking on any links. Type “amazon.com” directly into your browser’s address bar instead of clicking on links and ensure that the website URL starts with “https://” to indicate a secure connection. Also, any emails you receive will be housed in your Message Center as well.
Unsolicited Calls from Fake Amazon Support
Look out for bad guys who claim to be Amazon support representatives calling to warn you about suspicious activity on your account. Often, they will make the situation sound dire and demand personal information or request remote access to your computer to fix supposed issues.
- How to avoid it: Amazon support will never contact you without your request. If you receive a call claiming to be support, hang up immediately and never share any personal information. Instead, call Amazon’s official support number from their website to verify the legitimacy of the call. You can also report scam calls, texts and email to them at amazon.com/reportascam.
Fake Prime Membership Renewal Notices
Since they know so many people have grown to rely on Amazon Prime, cyber criminals have been successful sending emails or text messages claiming that your membership is about to expire, urging you to renew immediately by clicking on a link which takes you to a fake site and steals your data.
- How to avoid it: Always check your Prime membership status by logging into your Amazon account directly on the official website. Do not click on any renewal links from emails or messages. Genuine Prime membership renewal notifications can also be found in your Amazon account settings and can be set to auto-renew too.
Prize Giveaways and Surveys
Everyone likes to win something for free, and scammers have been known to lure Amazon Prime members with promises of winning gift cards, gadgets, or other prizes through fake surveys or contests.
- How to avoid it: Always be cautious about clicking on random survey links or participating in unknown contests, no matter who it looks like they are from. Verify the legitimacy of any giveaway directly through Amazon’s official website or contact their customer support.
Unauthorized Third-Party Sellers
Some Amazon Prime members have fallen victim to scams involving third-party sellers offering counterfeit or non-existent products at attractive prices. These sellers often disappear after receiving payment, leaving customers without their purchases.
- How to avoid it: Stick to purchasing from reputable sellers with good customer ratings and reviews. Always look for the “Fulfilled by Amazon” tag, indicating that Amazon handles the shipping and customer service for the product.
Stay vigilant and informed so you can enjoy the benefits of your Amazon Prime membership safely, knowing you have taken the necessary precautions to safeguard your personal and financial information.