In a recent statement from consumer rights watchdog Which?, Amazon users are being warned that they may receive texts from hackers pretending to be from the tech giant. These messages are an example of phishing—where hackers try to obtain sensitive information to try and defraud victims in the future.
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The ruse works by sending customers of Amazon messages suggesting there has been an attempted login on their account. They are then told to click on a link if they don’t recognise the activity. Users are often slightly panicked and so follow the instructions thinking they are preventing the scam when in fact they are doing the opposite. They are then led to website that looks much like the real Amazon site but is in fact disingenuous.
An example of a text reads, according to Which?:
Amazon: We detected a login into your account from a new device on 27/09/2022 at 15:10:08 UTC. If this wasn’t you, you can terminate that session via: [https://checkup-amazon.com].
Websites will have names similar to Amazon to try and mislead the user into thinking it is genuine. However, the report goes onto say this can be easily verified:
By checking the website database Who.Is, we can see the site linked to in the text was registered on 21 September, a giveaway that fraudsters are using dodgy new websites they make with the intention of scamming you.
Unsurprisingly, the response from Amazon has been firm and they have a team of people whose job it is to tackle these situations. A spokesperson told Which?:
Scammers attempting to impersonate Amazon put our customers and our brand at risk. Although these scams take place outside our store, we will continue to invest in protecting customers and educating the public on scam avoidance.
We encourage customers to report suspected scams to us so that we can protect their accounts and refer bad actors to law enforcement to help keep consumers safe. Please visit our help pages to find additional information on how to identify scams and report them.
Consumer experts are reminding shoppers to be vigilant ahead of Black Friday and the busy Christmas period as scammers try to make money during these times.
- Which? 'Amazon text message scams on the rise: how to identify a phoney text'
- Yahoo!finance'Warning to Amazon customers of scam text messages trying to steal personal and bank details'