A surge in alerts about “suspicious activity” as scammers impersonate Amazon

Now the scammers are trying to warn you of potential scams in your account, straining you and not thinking twice about what you’re trying to do next.

An increasing number of texts and phone calls warn of suspicious activity from fraudsters. Some people are pretending to be from Amazon’s fraud department. Others are following similar MOs that impersonate banks such as Chase and government agencies such as the Social Security Agency to issue dubious fraud warnings.

Everything is portrayed as terribly “urgent”. Some text messages may warn you that your account is locked or restricted due to unusual activity and may erroneously notify you that you need to click a link to resolve the issue.

Others may argue that you need to make sure that a $ 500 purchase was made for something with your card.

Some Robocalls are instructed to “press 1” to report a fake claim that is priced at $ 729 or $ 1,499.

Of course, our first automatic reaction is to rush to prevent anyone from stealing money from our account or using a charge card.

Unfortunately, moving fast is the wrong thing to do. We need to take a break, train ourselves, and carefully find out who really emailed, emailed, or called.

You might think that all the texts and warnings you receive need to be legitimate, but they aren’t.

“These scams work to target everyday human behavior and prey on consumer fear that problems have surfaced,” said Brian K., director of the Virginia Coastal Cyber ​​Innovation Center. Pain says.

“Ironically, the only problem is that criminals target the individual and steal from them.

“Responding immediately only provides what the scammers are looking for. Nervous consumers can easily hand over their username and password, driver’s license number, credit card number, and social security number. there is.

In some cases, the scam may begin as an email or text message with a warning that access to your account is restricted to unusual activities. An urgent response is recommended as the customer will be instructed to click the link to verify their account and restore normal access.

Of course, clicking the link will take the user to a landing page that asks for login credentials. Fraudsters can use the information to steal your identity and get a new loan. Or you might even find a way to try to leak your bank account.

Like other scammers, these scammers may convince you that you need to go out and put money in your prepaid card or Bitcoin to deal with the problem.

Some consumers in Michigan report calls from the so-called “fraud department” of the US government.

In the scam, the caller states that the consumer’s computer has been compromised by a hacker and that the caller needs remote access to thwart them. Somewhere, fraudsters are very likely to ask for a gift card to “catch the suspect.”

Messages from scammers can be fooled by consumers because they generally sound or look official.

“Sending fraudulent emails doesn’t cost a scammer and can target thousands of potential victims at once,” says Payne.

“Even if only a few people are preyed on by fraud, the rewards can be significant,” says Payne. “Criminals can hide their identities and commit crimes from anywhere in the world, so it’s not easy to catch them.”

Calls to Amazon have increased dramatically in recent months, according to consumer watchdogs.

According to YouMail, which features a Robocall blocking app, consumers now regularly receive 100-150 million Robocalls each month from scammers who claim to be on Amazon.

Nessel says that while some Amazon departments call customers, Amazon never asks for sensitive personal information disclosure or confirmation, or offers unexpected refunds. Said.

“Amazon customers should log in to their account directly from the mobile app or website to check order status or contact customer service,” Nessel said in a statement.

Amy Nofziger, director of victim support for the AARP Fraud Watch Network, said fake text messages can be particularly disturbing to some consumers who don’t expect scammers to use text messages. It states that there is.

Nofziger points out that consumers need to be aware that their smartphones are computers, and when a scammer accesses a phone, they may be able to access an account that is already open on the phone, such as a bank account. did.

Therefore, you don’t have to click the links in these texts.

The best bet is to hang up on RoboCall or ignore the text and, if you’re worried, call the company directly using the number on your statement or on the company’s website.

Other recommendations are as follows:

▪ ▪ Never give your personal information to someone you don’t know.

▪ ▪ Requests for immediate action are treated as a serious danger signal.

▪ ▪ Note that fraudsters may tell you by voice email or text message that your bank account will be closed, frozen, or suspended when you are asked to provide personal information unless you visit the phone or website. please. please do not.

▪ ▪ Banks such as Chase also warn consumers not to print their driver’s license, phone number, or social security number on a check.

Some people have lost serious cash due to these scammers. Some will pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for a gift card.

If a scammer has access to your bank account, it will try to steal tens of thousands of dollars in seconds.

According to a YouMail alert, an Amazon scammer invited a California woman into a clever scam, costing $ 40,000.

Some of the fraudulent games are dramas that drive you to do things you would never do without an edge, such as sending money by wire transfer or going to a store to buy prepaid cards or gifts. Keep in mind that it involves the creation of. card.

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