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Christmas is just a couple of weeks away and that means there will now be a mad rush to buy those last-minute festive gifts. This is always one of the busiest periods for shopping but with so many of us now using online services, rather than the local high street, it makes December a prime target for cyber thieves looking to cash in on unsuspecting consumers and Amazon is a top target. Due to its massive popularity, the retailer is constantly in the sights of scammers and now is a particularly important time to be on the lookout for swindles.
In a bid to help its users avoid falling victim to online crooks, the US firm has issued an urgent warning highlighting the risks we all face right now.
According to Amazon, there are a number of tactics currently being used by hackers in a bid to steal personal data including user names, passwords and even bank details.
The most common scam uses correspondence that pretends to have come from Amazon with shoppers receiving a message that suggests they have ordered a product but confirmation is needed before it can be shipped. The scammers then try to convince customers to provide payment or bank account information or even install software on devices to complete the order.
Amazon says that anyone receiving messages regarding an order they weren’t expecting, should verify orders by logging into their Amazon account. Only legitimate purchases will appear in the order history – and Customer Service is available 24/7 to assist.
Fraud victim finds it hard to trust anyone after falling for scam
Along with fake orders, crooks have also started setting up imitation websites that claim to provide tech support for devices and Amazon services. Customers who land on these pages are then lured into contacting the scammer and often fall prey to their schemes which include stealing personal data and installing malware onto devices.
If you do have any issues with your Amazon account, the retailer has a help section on its website which can answer queries.
As well as these scams, Amazon also says that users should only ever access its services via official channels such as the iPhone/Android app or the Amazon.co.uk website.
It’s also good to be wary of false urgency. Scammers may try to create a sense of panic to persuade users to do what they’re asking. Be wary any time someone tries to convince you that you must act now.
Two more top tips include never paying over the phone for products as Amazon will never ask customers to provide payment information, including gift cards (or “verification cards”, as some scammers call them) for products or services over the phone.
Finally, if you receive correspondence you think may not be from Amazon, please report it to the company as they can then act and attempt to halt future attacks.
You can register any suspicious activity here.
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