In the first half of 2019, the amount of money stolen by scammers through bank transfers rose by 40% in the UK. Considering many of us have running subscriptions to things like Netflix and Tesco delivery, it’s easy to get complacent about communications surrounding your services.
For instance, there have been online scams circulating in the past 5 years with “callers” from big brands such as BT, O2, Microsoft, and Virgin. And now, we have the same Delhi, India call centres scamming, except with Amazon Prime.
To learn more about the Amazon Prime scam, read on. We’ll give you some background history on it and how you can avoid becoming a victim.
The Amazon Prime Scam
With the Amazon Prime scam, you’ll receive an automated call that’ll tell you that your subscription is ending soon and that your account will be charged £39.99. You’ll then be given the option to press “1” to speak to an account manager since chances are, your subscription is nowhere near ending soon.
Here, they’ll convince you of their authenticity and get you to go to a (fraudulent) Amazon website to enter your personal details in to get a refund. It’ll ask for things like your full name, address, bank details, and more. As you may have guessed, the scammer’s impersonated Amazon’s website to steal sensitive information through it.
Version 2 of the Amazon Prime Scam
You’ll receive a phone call saying your account’s been compromised and they need to fix your account to make it more secure. Victims allow the fraudsters to remotely access their devices by installing a program like TeamViewer.
During this process, the scammers will disable antivirus software and then ask the victims to log into their bank accounts. They then steal all the information since there are no cybersecurity measures in place.
Why Is This Scam so Successful?
The Amazon Prime scam is so successful for several reasons.
First of all, everyone’s heard of Amazon Prime. So when the scammers cast a large net, they’re bound to get a significant amount of victims in return. Even if you don’t have an actual account, the call still may sound authentic because it just sounds like a mistake in how a company’s charging people.
Also, the second version of the scam instils a sense of urgency in victims. When you hear your account’s been fraudulently accessed, this causes you to naturally feel panicked.
As a result, this drives two actions: 1) you want to get the issue resolved ASAP, and 2) you may want to get this done so quickly that you won’t notice some warning signs and red flags.
How You Can Avoid Becoming a Victim
It may be scary to receive a call telling you that there’s fraudulent activity on one of your accounts. But this doesn’t mean you should just drop everything and resolve it immediately with the person on the line.
Here are a few ways you can avoid becoming a victim.
Hang up Immediately
Know that no reputable company will ever call to contact you about any issues. If you ever receive a call and the person says they’re a representative of ‘***’ Company, then chances are, they’re a scammer.
In this case, don’t give them another minute of your time; hang up immediately.
Plus, even if it’s an authentic call, they’d never ask for sensitive information, such as bank details, credit card numbers, or account names and passwords. Never give these credentials out (through phone or email), even if you’re certain it’s a real representative of a company that you have a contract with.
Contact the Actual Company
If you’ve received a possible scam call from a company, don’t hesitate to chase it up after you hang up. Go to their website or refer to a brochure they’ve given you to find out how to contact them. Once you’ve emailed or called them, then you can figure out if that scam call really was one.
If it turns out to be an actual fraud call, you may also want to report the scam to the National Fraud & Cyber Crime Reporting Centre. There may be a chance the company doesn’t know about the scam and the more people who report it, the better. That way, they understand the full scope of things.
Install Robust Antivirus Software
Whether or not you receive scam calls, you should always have a good antivirus program installed and running on your devices; this includes mobile phones. Keep the software up-to-date, meaning you should install patches and updates as soon as they come out.
That way, if you ever accidentally download something harmful or land on a malicious website, the program can take care of it promptly for you so your network doesn’t get infected.
Keep Your Network Safe
Whether you use the internet for business or leisure, you’re always at risk of falling victim to the Amazon Prime scam. But with the proper information and precautions, you’ll have a better fighting chance against scammers.
Always remember that to successfully fend off fraudsters, you need to stay vigilant. So this means in addition to being on alert for the Amazon Prime scam, you also need to always be on the lookout for other similar things, such as phishing, malicious links, and malware. Make sure you keep your antivirus program up-to-date and scan every file before you download them to reduce the chances of your network becoming infected.
Are you having issues with your computer and don’t know what’s wrong with it? Then make an appointment with one of our Which?Trusted Trader Certified technicians now. We have technicians in London and Brighton and also offer UK-wide Remote IT support.