When a website address does not begin with “HTTPS”
If you don’t see these five letters in the address bar of the website you are trying to make a payment on, it means the site is not secure. “HTTPS is a protocol for secure communication over a computer network which is widely used on the Internet,” explains Robert McKee, lawyer and certified international privacy professional. “Its main motivation is authentication of the visited website and protection of the privacy and integrity of the exchanged data.” If the site does not include an “s” in this beginning part of the URL, opt out of the online purchase, and try using a third-party payment system like PayPal instead. These sites act as another barrier between an organization and your credit information. Make sure you read up on these common Amazon scams so you can avoid them at all costs.
Now that we know why these scammers want your information, here are some Amazon scams to avoid to protect it from falling into the wrong hands.
Phone calls about your Amazon Prime account
Walsh says people must watch out for a specific scam involving a phone call regarding your Amazon Prime account. Typically, the scammer will call someone and tell them that a Prime account has been taken out under their name. They’ll then transfer the unsuspecting customer to someone claiming to be an Amazon customer support agent but is actually a scammer trying to steal their personal data. They can also try to get the customer to do something dangerous. “[Scammers] attempt to coerce them into installing remote access software that gives the scammer direct access to their machine to steal personal information for the purposes of engaging in fraud and identity theft,” Walsh explains. By the way, if you receive a phone call you don’t recognize from one of these area codes, it could be a scam call.
Phone calls about unauthorized purchases from your account
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) warns people about a specific phone call scammers use to scare people into giving up their information. The phone call typically says there’s something wrong with your Amazon account. They could mention an order that can’t be fulfilled, suspicious activity on your account, or that one of your packages has been lost. The call may ask you to press 1 to connect with a representative to straighten it out. If you receive a phone call like this, the FTC urges you to hang up the phone and not press 1. If the scammers give you a phone number to call, do not call that number—and by all means, do not give out your personal information at any point during the call. An example of this call can be heard on the FTC’s website.