In case older Americans didn't have enough scams to worry about, criminals are now using the creative Amazon scam to steal personal information.
With so many older adults having to stay in their homes during the pandemic, they have turned to the internet to purchase goods online. Online purchases exploded during the Covid-19, allowing Amazon to deliver 415 million packages in July 2020. Buying from home has certainly helped protect the good health of older adults, but it has also opened them up to the Amazon scam.
According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), this is what you need to know. You may receive a call where a recorded message informs you that there is suspicious activity on your Amazon account. The message then says to cancel your order or to connect to a customer support representative by pressing one. To prevent the scam artist from stealing your personal information, do not press one. Just hang up!
- Do not press 1 to speak with customer support!
- Do not call a phone number they gave you!
- Do not give out your personal information!
Law enforcement advises to hang up the phone as soon as possible. If you are concerned about a possible order that you didn't place, it is a good idea to contact the company. You can usually find a customer service number on their website, but make sure you don't call a phone number that the fraudster gave you. Also, check your credit card statements to make sure there aren't any suspicious charges on your account. If you find one, you can dispute it with your credit card company.
Amazon is taking this scam and other fraud attempts very seriously by encouraging consumers to report any fraudulent activity to the FTC. If you receive a suspicious phone call or text message, report it to ReportFraud.ftc.gov and follow the onscreen assistant.
Our senior citizens are very trusting, so please take time to pass along the valuable information about this scam to your older family members and friends. Many older adults have limited savings and one scam can truly wipe out everything.