If it seems like more scammers and spammers are flooding your various inboxes, that’s because they probably are.
fake text message And e-mails carrying phishing attempts by virtual scammers have been on the rise since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. And, one of the more prevalent methods scammers have been using lately is a fake message claiming to be from an Amazon representative who can claim to have checked in. suspicious activity on your account or even a delayed package,
Typically, these phishing or “smishing” – aka SMS phishing – attacks aim to make you believe that you are communicating with a legitimate representative of the e-commerce giant. If you’re not careful, you might end up with valuable personal information, from your credit card information to login credentials to your online accounts, or click malware-laden links that infect your devices with viruses. Huh.
The Federal Trade Commission reports that US consumers collectively lost about $5.8 billion from fraud in 2021, up 70% from the previous year. About a third of that came from fraudulent scams.
So, what can you do to make sure you don’t fall into one of these increasingly prevalent spammer scams?
Do not click on any links, or share any personal information, unless you are absolutely sure that you are indeed speaking with a genuine representative of Amazon, or any other legitimate company or organization.
ftc note That there are a number of signs often associated with fraudsters, who “may use a variety of ever-changing stories to try to trap you.” This includes:
- Promising you’ve won a free prize
- any type of low-interest credit offering
- Alert you to allegedly suspicious account activity
- Saying there’s a problem with your payment information
- sending you a fake invoice
Amazon itself Provides an online guide To help its customers identify suspicious messages masquerading as official Amazon communications. The company says red flags include order confirmations for items you didn’t order and messages with grammatical errors or prompts to install software.
The company says that if you have doubts about a message requesting updated payment information, you should visit the “Your Orders” page of your online Amazon account. “If you are not prompted to update your payment method on that screen, the message is not from Amazon,” the company says,
Many scammers rely on it”spoofing“A practice that tricks your phone’s caller ID into thinking you’re getting a text or call from someone you trust. In some cases, they even imitate your number, making it so Looks like you’re calling or texting yourself.
So to be extra cautious, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recommended That you “never share your personal or financial information over email, text message or phone.”
If you have any doubts about the validity of a particular text or e-mail, The FTC advises You to contact the “Verifiable Customer Service Line” of the company or institution. Instead of replying to the message you received, visit the company’s website to find a valid contact number or e-mail address.
The simplest way to stop receiving suspicious messages is to block the phone numbers or email addresses that are sending you messages. You can also manage your phone’s filter to remove calls or messages from unknown numbers.
Unfortunately, some scammers use different numbers or addresses for each message they send, leaving you playing a game of virtual whack-a-mole, constantly sending suspicious numbers and e-mails through new channels. From scammers block in the form of chakra.
At that point, consider reporting spam and phishing attempts to your wireless carrier or e-mail service, as well as to government agencies — including the FTC. Online Fraud Complaint Form and the Federal Bureau of Investigation internet crime complaint center,
If the suspected scammer is claiming to represent a specific company like Amazon or a government entity, you can also try reporting the attempt to the actual organization. Amazon company’s “suggests to visit”report something suspiciouspage on its Customer Service section, where you can report any texts, e-mails or phone calls you’ve received that you suspect didn’t actually come from Amazon.
Sign up now: Get better informed about your money and career with our weekly newsletter
Scammers are now messaging you with your own number—here’s what to do if it happens
If your passwords are less than 8 characters long, change them immediately, a new study says