BBB Scam Alert: Phony Amazon Callers Phishing for Info


MEMPHIS (June 8) - The BBB is warning Mid-Southerners to be on the lookout for suspicious calls in which the callers are posing as Amazon. It appears that scammers are blanketing the Mid-South with these robocalls. Mid-Southerners have reported about 50 such calls to BBB of the Mid-South’s Scam Tracker.

Some of the reports say calls have been displaying “Unknown Caller” or “V 800 Serv” on caller ID, while others mimic the area code and prefix numbers of the recipient. Today’s technology makes spoofing phone numbers extremely easy to accomplish.

Consumers describe answering a phone call and hearing a recorded message claiming to be from Amazon stating that there has been a fraudulent charge on their Amazon Prime account for several hundreds of dollars. Regardless of the message, these scammers have the same goal: getting personal information. The con artists will either outright ask for credit card and account login details, or they will request remote access to a person’s computer under the guise of helping to solve the issue.

A 90-year-old Memphis woman who doesn’t have an Amazon account answered one of the calls after they wouldn’t stop coming. “I couldn’t get any sleep,” she told BBB. “They just kept calling and calling at all hours.” She tried explaining that the caller had reached the wrong person, but the calls continued.

Another Memphis woman let the first call go unanswered because the caller ID said “Unknown Caller.” But when the next call came through with an individual’s name and a local phone number whose prefix matched hers, she picked it up. She subsequently got over 25 more of the calls the same day. “This is a ridiculous amount of harassment,” she told BBB.

Here’s how to spot this scam:

Be skeptical of email and unsolicited calls. Amazon will never ask someone to disclose or verify sensitive personal information or offer a person a refund he/she does not expect. Amazon will never ask someone to make a payment outside of its website and will never ask a person for remote access to his/her device.

Ignore unsolicited messages and calls that ask for personal information. Amazon will never send someone an unsolicited message that asks he/she to provide sensitive personal information, such as a person’s tax ID, bank account number or credit card information.

Ignore calls for immediate action. Scammers try to get a person to act before he thinks by creating a sense of urgency. Don't fall for it.

Beware of odd payment requests. These are requests to pay via wire transfer, prepaid debit card or CashApp (such as Venmo, MoneyPak, iTunes or similar cards). These are almost always a sign of fraud.

What to do if you get these calls:

If you get an unexpected call or message about a problem with any of your accounts:

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.

Do not press any button claiming that they will remove your number from their list.

If you think there might actually be a problem with one of your accounts, contact the company using a phone number or website you know is real.

If you’ve gotten a phony call or been the victim of another scam, make others aware by filing a report on BBB Scam Tracker.