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Warning over bogus Amazon subscription calls and emails

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17/07/2020
Scams targeting unsuspecting Brits are on the rise as fraudsters look to capitalise on the coronavirus pandemic.

With nearly eight million households signed up to Amazon Prime, scammers are taking advantage of its popularity and the health crisis to line their pockets.

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) said scammers are targeting users of the popular platform through email and phone in a series of phishing scams.

Households are receiving automated phone calls informing them they’ve opened an Amazon Prime account and that they should ‘press one’ to cancel the transaction. Upon pushing the button, the call connects to a fraudster posing as an Amazon customer service representative.

They’re then told the subscription was bought fraudulently due to a security flaw on their computer and the scammer requests remote access to fix the breach.

By giving remote access, victims give scammers the chance to steal personal information, including passwords and banking information.

An email version of this scam has also emerged claiming the target has started an Amazon Music subscription charged at £28.99 per month. Similarly, the email asks the recipient to click a link to cancel the subscription and receive a refund. The potential victim is asked to input their card details to receive the refund, instantly sending the details to fraudsters.

Katherine Hart, lead officer at CTSI, said: “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. 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.”

To report email scams, contact the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) by emailing report@phishing.gov.uk.

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