Scam alert: Watch out for phony calls from Amazon

With so many more of us at home, we are online shopping more than we used to.

And criminals are catching on and taking advantage of those clicks. And many are falling for scams.

Amazon ships more than 1.6 million packages each day. That gives crooks an opportunity to find ways to steal your personal information, including your identity.

The latest scam comes in the form of a phone call from someone claiming to work at Amazon. They ask the unsuspecting victim to confirm a recent purchase by providing your name and maybe some additional information.

They’ll even give you an 800-number to call back if you are concerned it’s not a real call.

The phenomenon is called social engineering, said Mark Flores, a retired FBI agent.

“It’s when the criminals will reach out to the victims portraying themselves as someone they are not and try to solicit personal information or information about accounts, user names and passwords so they can go in and steal from those accounts,” Flores said.

They may even leave a voicemail asking you to call back, but you’re actually calling a scammer.

Here are a few pointers:

  • Don’t give personal or financial information
  • Amazon has no call center background noise
  • Look up the number they called from yourself
  • And ask them to tell you your account number
  • Amazon will never call you on the phone
  • If they need to speak to you, they will use email.


The FBI’s tips to avoid telemarketing fraud 

Amazon’s page on security and privacy 

The Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Information on phone scams


Reporter:Rich Kolko
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