Many people are waiting for Amazon holiday packages right now. If you're one of them, take a moment before you click on an unexpected delivery notification from the retail giant.
It may be a phishing scam.
Lisa Wang owns a wellness salon and orders dietary supplements every day. That means she is constantly getting shipping notices in her inbox.
But one recent Amazon email stood out.
"They said you have a big shipment, an order for over $6,000," Wang said.
She says she never ordered that much product at once.
So she did what a lot of Amazon Prime customers would do. She read the email and looked for a way to report that it was an error. Sure enough, the email made that very easy.
"They wanted me to call," she said, "because there's a 1-800 number right up front. It looked real."
Since she thought it was a mistake, or perhaps someone may have hacked her credit card, she called the number provided.
What happens if you call to challenge the order
The man who answered started asking her to confirm her information.
"They said, 'give me the email on this order.' So I gave them the email," Wang said.
He then asked for her Amazon password. But at that point Wang realized something was not right.
"I heard in the background some non-English conversation behind it; that was not professional," she said.
It sounded like an outside-the-U.S. call center, and it probably was a scam "boiler room" in another country.
As for the email, it was a phishing scam, which are very easy to fall for this time of year. They are so common, Amazon now warns about these on its website.
Red flags of an Amazon phishing scam include:
- The email calls you client or customer, not your name.
- The return address URL (what you can hover over at the top of the page) is not Amazon.com.
- It is typically for a large amount of money, guaranteed to get your attention.
In reality, your account is not being billed for several thousand dollars. They just want you to hand over your login password so they can start charging things to you.
Be alert to this scam. That way you don't waste your money.
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