Amazon Shipping Scam: How It Works
The list of Amazon scams continue to grow every day, the newest addition being the Amazon Shipping Scam. Amazon is one of the most widely used online retailers and the biggest e-commerce site, with over 2.5 billion visits each month. The main reason for Amazon’s overwhelming popularity is its ease of use for consumers.
However, with this popularity comes a downside; scams aimed at bilking customers of the online retail giant. Besides the Amazon Jobs From Home approach, crooks have been hitting with a series of other fraudulent activities when it comes to shipping.
How does the Amazon Shipping Scam work? There are four variations. Let’s take a look:
Scenario 1: Shipment Is Sent To a Different Address
The first variation of the Amazon Shipping Scam is the “Deliberately Wrong Address” approach. Watch the video below to see this scam in action:
Essentially, this is how it works: you purchase an expensive item (camera, laptop, etc.) and pay for it. The third-party seller on Amazon sends a package to your city, but one that doesn’t contain the product – only garbage or heavier useless items. The scammer sends the box to a different address – a commercial location – where the package is received with a signature by a receptionist.
Creating a record of delivery, the scammer has the job done. When you complain about the package never being handed over despite the notifications, the signature along with the confirmation of delivery is shown, making refund impossible.
Scenario 2: Amazon Can’t Ship To Your Location
The second variation of the scam is the “Amazon can’t ship to your location” approach.
In this case, once you try to purchase a low-priced item and put it in your online cart, the seller sends a notification saying that “the item can’t be shipped to your location”. Amazon Shipping Scam 101.
After a day or two, you will get an email saying that the item has been shipped to your address and “Amazon requires you to wire the money”. Basically, the scammer diverts sales outside the checkout process. And, of course, he doesn’t send the product.
Scenario 3: Incorrect Shipping Address
The third variation of the Amazon/DHL package scheme is a phishing scam. It is centered on Amazon or DHL shipping notifications, involving scammers sending you an email verification of your processed Amazon order but the email contains an incorrect shipping address.
The victim is then required to click a link in the email to correct the information; when the link is clicked malware is released onto the computer or device that captures passwords or private information.
Scenario 4: Tracking Number Attached
In the fourth variation of the Amazon Shipping scam, criminals claim to be from well-known shipment services. Examples are DHL, UPS, or FedEx, in which they include terms such as ‘tracking notification’, tracking number’, ‘pickup date’, or ‘Processing completed successfully’. Just as in the above Amazon example, the zip file attached to the message contains malware.
Amazon Delivery Scam: How To Avoid
If you receive one of these order verification look at it closely. Are there misspellings? Is the domain in the email address from Amazon (i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org)? If not, these are good indicators that the email is fraudulent.
To protect yourself, if you are in any way concerned about the validity of email verification from any online retailer, contact their customer service department; they will be able to verify if the communication came from them.
Shopping online is a convenient way to do business; however, make sure to take the proper precautions to protect your identity while doing so.
Acording to Amazon’s Help page on their official website, here are a few tips for you to keep in mind:
“DO NOT send money—by cash, wire transfer, Western Union, PayPal, MoneyGram or other means, including by Amazon Payments—to a seller who claims that Amazon or Amazon Payments will guarantee the transaction, refund your funds if you are not satisfied with the purchase, or hold your funds in escrow.
DO NOT make a payment to claim lottery or prize winnings, or on a promise of receiving a large amount of money.
DO NOT make a payment because you are “guaranteed” a credit card or loan.
DO NOT respond to an Internet or phone offer that you aren’t sure is honest.
DO NOT make a payment to someone you don’t know or whose identity you can’t verify.
When in doubt, ask the intended recipient for more information about the purpose and safety of the requested payment. Do not send the payment until you are comfortable with the transaction.
From time to time you may receive emails that look like they come from Amazon Payments, but they are falsified. These emails may direct you to a website that looks similar to the Amazon Payments website; you might even be asked to provide account information such as your email address and password combination.
These false websites can steal your sensitive login or payment information, which is then used to commit fraud. Some phishing messages contain potential viruses or malware that can detect passwords or sensitive data. We recommend that you install an anti-virus program and keep it updated at all times.
Here are some key points to protect yourself from fraudulent emails:
1. Know what Amazon Payments won’t ask you to provide in an email
Amazon Payments may at times need to ask you for important information, but you will always be directed to provide this information through the Amazon Payments website.
You should not provide personal information such as the following in an email:
Your full or partial social security number or tax identification number
Your date of birth
Your credit card number, PIN, or credit card security code (including “updates” to any of the above)
2. Be wary of attachments in suspicious emails
We recommend that you do not open any email attachments from suspicious or unknown sources – which could lead to the Amazon Prime Review Scam. Email attachments can contain viruses that can infect your computer when the attachment is opened or accessed.
If you receive a suspicious email purportedly sent from Amazon Payments which contains an attachment, we recommend that you delete the email—do not open the attachment.
3. Look for grammatical or typographical errors
Be on the lookout for poor grammar or typographical errors. Some phishing emails are translated from other languages or are sent without being proofread, and as a result, contain bad grammar or typographical errors.
4. Check the return address
Is the email from Amazon Payments? While phishers can send forged email to make it look like it came from Amazon Payments, you can sometimes determine whether or not it’s authentic by checking the return address. If the “from” line of the email looks like email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or contains the name of another Internet service provider, you can be sure it is a fraudulent email.
5. Check the website address
Genuine Amazon Payments websites are always hosted on one of the following domains:
Sometimes the link included in spoofed emails looks like a genuine Amazon Payments address. You can check where it actually points to by hovering your mouse over the link; the actual website to which it points will be shown in the status bar at the bottom of your browser window or as a pop-up.
We never use a web address hosted on a domain other than the ones listed above. For example, variant domains such as “http://security-payments-amazon.com/. . .” or an IP address (a string of numbers) followed by directories such as “http://123.456.789.123/payments.amazon.com/. . .” are not valid Amazon Payments websites.
Alternately, sometimes the spoofed email is set up such that if you click anywhere on the text you are taken to the fraudulent website. Amazon.com will never send an email that does this. If you accidentally click on such an email and go to a spoofed website, do not enter any information; instead, just close that browser window.
6. If an email looks suspicious, go directly to the Amazon Payments website
When in doubt, do not click the link included in an email. Go directly to https://payments.amazon.com and log on to your Amazon Payments Account to view recent purchases, or to review your account information. If you cannot access your account, or if you see anything suspicious, let us know right away. You can contact us from the Payments website.
7. Protect your account information
If you did click through from a spoofed or suspicious email and you entered your Amazon Payments account information, you should immediately update your Amazon.com password. You can do this by going directly to http://www.amazon.com and clicking Your Account. On the next page, click the Change your name, email address, or password link.
If you submitted your credit card number to the site linked to the forged email message, we advise that you take steps to protect your information. You might want to contact your credit card company, for example, to notify them of this matter.
You should also delete that credit card from your Amazon Payments account to prevent anyone from improperly regaining access to your account.”
How To Report The Fake Amazon Shipping Scam:
Make your family and friends aware of the Amazon shipment scams by sharing this article on social media using the buttons provided. You can also officially report the scammers to Amazon using the link below:
You can also report scammers for any other types of fraud to the Federal Trade Commission.
How To Protect Yourself More:
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