If you have an Amazon account and use the shopping site on a regular basis – be warned. Scammers are desperately trying to gain access to accounts and are using a swathe of tactics to attack users and steal personal data including user names, passwords and payment details. In a bid to protect its customers, Amazon has now released fresh advice on how to avoid becoming the cyber crook’s next victim and it’s well worth taking note if you don’t want your data ending up in the wrong hands.
“Scammers are creative and they constantly devise new schemes, exploit new technologies and change tactics to avoid detection. Stay safe by learning to identify and avoid scams,” Amazon explained in an email sent out this week.
The first tip is to watch out for unexpected calls, texts or emails that refer to a costly membership fee or an issue with your membership. Criminals use this tactic to scare Amazon users into thinking that their Prime plan has an issue. They then ask for a payment method to be confirmed to reinstate the account.
Amazon says it will never ask you to provide payment information for products or services over the phone. So, if you get a call asking for card details, hang up immediately and check the status of your Amazon account via the official app or website.
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Another method used by scammers is suggesting that your account is about to be suspended or deleted. This worrying threat can cause panic which is exactly what the crooks are hoping for.
These alarming emails often contain fake links which then ask users to verify their accounts – if fooled, passwords and personal details will then be placed in the hacker’s hands.
“Amazon will never ask you to disclose your password or verify sensitive personal information over the phone or on any website other than Amazon.co.uk,” Amazon confirmed. “Please do not click on any links or provide your information to anyone over the phone without authenticating the email or phone call.”
If you receive any correspondence from Amazon and are unsure, then always think twice before handing over account data or clicking on links.
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Here are Amazon’s latest top tips on falling victim to scams.
1. Trust Amazon-owned channels
Always go through the Amazon mobile app or website when seeking customer service, tech support, or when looking to make changes to your account.
2. Be wary of false urgency
Scammers may try to create a sense of urgency to persuade you to do what they’re asking. Be wary any time someone tries to convince you that you must act now.
3. Never pay over the phone
Amazon will never ask you to provide payment information, including gift cards (or “verification cards,” as some scammers call them) for products or services over the phone.
4. Verify links first
Legitimate Amazon websites contain “amazon.co.uk” or “amazon.co.uk/support.” Go directly to our website when seeking help with Amazon devices/services, orders or to make changes to your account.
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