POSTED IN ARTICLES ON FRIDAY, APRIL 29, 2022
Impersonator scams: Callers pretend to be from Amazon
Impersonator scams typically start with someone calling to confirm a recent purchase from a company, like Amazon. When you say you didn’t make the purchase, you may be told your account has been hacked. The scammer may offer a “refund” for the unauthorized purchase, but then “accidentally” transfer more money than planned and ask you to send back the difference. Watch out because the scammer is really moving your money from one account to another, for example from your savings account to your checking account, to make it look like you were refunded. The money you send back to “Amazon” is your money and not an overpayment.
Rather than a refund, the scammer may tell you a hacker has access to your account and the only way to “protect” your account is to buy gift cards and give the scammer the card numbers and PINs. Once the scammer has that information, the scammer can spend the money.
Scammers are very good at what they do and it’s easy to fall victim. A Veridian employee recently shared his experience so it could help others and bring more awareness to these types of scams.
He received a call from “Amazon.” The caller (scammer) wanted to confirm a purchase that was charged to his Amazon account. He confirmed the purchase in another state wasn’t a purchase he made and was told it could be corrected by making a wire transfer for the purchase price. The money would be put into his checking account. The caller (scammer) asked for his account number and he was instructed to go to a page within his Amazon account. At this point, his bank accounts were now visible to him and potentially the caller (scammer). Something didn’t feel right.
He realized his mistake and called a co-worker on Veridian’s Technology Services team to get help with the situation. He was told to unplug the PC from the internet and contact Veridian’s Fraud and Disputes team. His accounts were immediately blocked and, fortunately, the caller (scammer) didn’t get anything. The next day, he went to a branch and closed his accounts, opened new ones, and changed his usernames and passwords, including online banking.
Message from the Veridian employee: You have the same resources available to you to protect your accounts. Don’t feel embarrassed if you fall for a scam. The “bad guys” are really good at what they do and unfortunately good people pay the price.
Here are some ways to avoid an impersonator scam:
- Use the information on the company’s website and not a number listed in an unexpected email or text.
- Don’t give remote access to someone who contacts you unexpectedly. This gives a scammer easy access to your personal and financial information.
- If someone asks you to pay with a gift card or purchase gift cards for anything other than a gift, it’s likely a scam.