The holidays are here, and the time is nigh for scams to proliferate across the web. The latest scheme is targeting Amazon customers, just as the website balloons with traffic and becomes a one-stop gift-emporium for anyone with an internet connection.
As The Independent reports, Amazon users in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia are being targeted by a phishing scam, which aims to steal financial details through a rogue email campaign. After making a purchase, customers receive a false notification claiming their “Amazon.com order cannot be shipped,” and that their accounts have been deactivated. Appropriately, the email links people to a random site purported to be affiliated with the online-retailer, where customers are instructed to re-supply their banking information, as if Amazon hasn’t already stored it.
The whole thing is obviously a ruse, meant to shake down unsuspecting shoppers when they’re most harried by holiday hysteria. It’s online shopping in the digital hellscape of 2016 -- which has hackers poised to purloin your data in anyway possible -- so don’t fall for it.
Luckily, Amazon provides clues on how to tell when hackers are trying to steal your private information. Chief among the guidelines, Amazon suggests ignoring “emails that ask you to provide account information, such as your e-mail address and password combination,” and that company “will never ask you for personal information.”
In addition to recently announcing its bold, new supermarket business, Amazon Go, the retail-giant has also come under fire for allowing counterfeit goods to clog its online marketplace. The company will reportedly assemble a brand registry, aimed with ferreting out the third-party sellers who peddle convincing knock-offs on the site -- which would be good, considering people should probably get what they pay for instead of chintzy replicas.
If you’d like to report a spoof or phishing email scam to Amazon, you can do so here.
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Sam Blum is a News Staff Writer for Thrillist. He's also a martial arts and music nerd who appreciates a fine sandwich and cute dogs. Find his clips in The Guardian, Rolling Stone, The A.V. Club and Vice. He's on Twitter @Blumnessmonster.