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Homebound, disabled Pasco County couple loses access to Amazon after a hacker attack

Amazon suspected fraud and closed customers’ account
Homebound, disabled Pasco couple loses access to Amazon after hacker attack WFTS JACKIE.png
Posted at 10:51 AM, Jul 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-20 21:34:30-04

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. — A three-car collision at a Pinellas County intersection a decade ago forced Ericka Brunette to change how she goes about the simplest of tasks. Three major back surgeries did little to help her regain her independence. In fact, walking increases the retiree’s risk of falling, and standing in line for any period of time causes her pain. So for years Ericka and her husband John, a disabled veteran, depended on Amazon for just about everything.

“We order our coffee from Amazon, vitamins, toothbrush replacements, water pics, clothing,” Ericka told ABC Action News.

Then, last summer, the Brunettes found three fraudulent orders including one for an $800 generator on their Amazon account. They said they immediately reported it to Amazon and thought that was the end of it.

Months passed, but in November, Amazon notified Ericka her account had been permanently closed for “violating the terms of an agreement.”

Ericka said she spent seven months emailing Amazon pleading their innocence, hoping the retailer would change its stance. In one of their emails to Ericka Amazon stated, “As we informed you earlier we have closed your account.”

At their wit's end, John and Ericka made a call for action to ABC Action News. We emailed an Amazon spokesperson and asked that they review the Brunettes’ account history. Days later Ericka said Amazon had a change of heart.

“We did get the Amazon email and our account was reinstated and we were so happy,” she said.

When using Amazon or any online site that involves money, always use a strong password and two-factor authentication. That sends a one-time code to your phone that you must use in order to sign in. And if you suspect an issue with an account, quickly change your password and visit Amazon's contact us page to get help.