Authorities in Florida are warning residents about a scam targeting Amazon customers amid the busy holiday shopping season.
Ocoee police issued a scam alert on its social media pages notifying consumers to be wary of phone calls from someone alleging to be from Amazon and asking about hundreds of dollars in charges.
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“If someone calls you from ‘Amazon’ about $800 in charges and to press 1 if you did not make the purchase, DO NOT DO IT! Scammers are trying to get your personal information,” the department wrote on its Twitter and Facebook pages.
One of the targets, retired police sergeant Ron Kroll, told the Detroit Free Press that he had received one of the pre-recorded messages. The call, allegedly from Amazon, said that he had a pending charge of nearly $799.75 and that he needed to press “1” now if he did not make those purchases in order to speak with a representative.
Although he doesn’t pick up unrecognizable numbers, Kroll told the outlet that he was expecting a delivery.
Unfortunately, these scams are nothing new. However, consumers are more at risk of being in Kroll’s shoes during the holiday season when there is generally a surge in online spending. This year, with more consumers shopping online, there are even more opportunities for cybercriminals.
Con artists have recently been using the names of big-name companies, including Apple and Amazon, as their biggest weapon to trick consumers, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
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In one scam, consumers will get a pre-recorded message pretending to be Amazon. The message will generally say that there is something wrong with their account, whether it’s a suspicious purchase, a lost package or an order they can’t fulfill, the FTC said.
Similarly, another scam will send a pre-recorded message to consumers that their Apple iCloud account may have been breached. In both cases, scammers ask consumers to press “1” to speak with someone or they will instruct a consumer to call a specific number, the agency said.
“They’re trying to steal your personal information, like your account password or your credit card number, ” the FTC warned.
The Better Business Bureau also issued a separate notice to consumers on how to look out for suspicious calls and emails, including those from con artists posing as Amazon employees.
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Amazon encourages anyone who receives a scam call to report it immediately. The company also provided information to show consumers how to do so.
“Any customer that receives a questionable email or call from a person impersonating an Amazon employee should report them to Amazon customer service,” Amazon told FOX Business. “Amazon investigates these complaints and will take action if warranted.”
However, consumers can also submit any suspicious calls or emails from people impersonating Amazon employees here.
Representatives for Apple did not immediately respond to FOX Business’ request for comment.
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