Amazon Customer Support Scams
[UPDATED PHONE # BELOW 8-25-21 – This scam is still active! See updates below.]
In mid-August, a woman we’ll call “Martha” needed help with a shipping label for a product she purchased through Amazon but wished to return. She searched Google for the Amazon customer support phone number and easily found 888-341-6651. However, what she found turned out to be one of many fraudulent numbers posted by criminals to appear as Amazon support numbers. She was victimized emotionally, financially, and felt that she couldn’t trust her computer and online accounts. The fake phone number was one of dozens of scam phone numbers cleverly positioned and posted on many Internet sites, including Amazon.com, by criminal gangs to lure unsuspecting consumers. Scroll down below to read Martha’s full story…
[UPDATED 11/27/20] An increasing number of people are reporting that they have received emails with their full names and address confirming an Amazon purchase of expensive items, such as a computer. The email contains a phone number described as an “Amazon Customer Support” number to call if they wish to report an error in their order, which of course, there is! The phone number is a scammer’s number. Here are two recent examples. (Click to enlarge the image.)
[UPDATED 5/15/20] We heard from victims in the summer of 2019 who found scam Amazon Customer Support phone numbers via Google searches and then those numbers disappeared! It seems as though the scam numbers are posted and removed after short periods of time, making it harder for Google and security services to identify and remove them.
On May 14 a woman Googled the number to speak to Customer Support at Amazon Prime. Google returned 888-371-2768, except it isn’t the real Amazon phone number! When she dialed it she reported that a man with a “Middle East Indian accent” answered as “Customer Support for Amazon Prime.” He told the woman to download an app from Google PlayStore called Quicksupport. She did this and the app generated a digital code which he told her to type in. As soon as she did this, he gained control of her phone. He then told her she needed to log into her bank account so he could look at my Amazon credit card charge and then “credit” her account. As soon as she did this, her phone screen began rapidly scrolling so fast that she could hardly read it. She tried to slow the scrolling down & the scammer knew this because he told her not to touch my phone. The woman saw that he was trying to send $1995.00 to a person named Chad Perez. Fortunately, she received a call from her bank requesting authorization of this transfer, which she declined. The scammer then attempted to transfer money 8 more times, send money 7 times via another method & then he tried to do a bill pay through Zelle, 5 more times. Her bank stopped all transfers and then locked her account. The scammers had access to all her accounts and services on her phone. She spent the day cleaning up the mess!
[UPDATED 11/13/19] Don’t believe posts on public forums such at Twitter or Quora.com when you see people posting the phone numbers for customer services like Amazon. They are usually FAKE, like these recent posts saying that Amazon support can be reached at 315-894-7222. That number leads to criminals in India.
[UPDATED 11/29/19] TDS Readers are sending us fake Amazon Customer Service robo-scam calls like this one that tells the recipient to call 800-316-2522:
[UPDATED 11/23/19] In late August and Fall 2019, many people have now reported to us that they are receiving phone calls from men and woman (all with accents) who say that they are from Amazon Customer Support, to report a charge on the person’s account. Read what one woman told us about this fraudulent call…
“They said they were from Amazon and 3 days ago I had a purchased an Amazon prime membership for 129.99. (They said) It was charged to my Visa. They confirmed my address then told me the purchase was made from Chicago, IL. I told them that my bank account did not reflect that and my Amazon account did not reflect that. They said it would take 2 hours for it to appear on my bank account. I said ‘from 3 days ago?” I questioned him and he kept giving me b.s. answers. I played along. Finally he asked me to log into my amazon account and type into the search line “Amazon Gift Card”. Which at this point I did not. I told him to get a real job and hung up. But before I did he gave me a call back number that was bogus. The number they called from was 800-300-9009.” “Caller left message that I needed to verify purchase. I returned the call. He claimed I ordered an iPhone for $529 on 11/7, which I didn’t, and he needed to “verify” the purchase. Directed me to install a Teamviewer remote support app. This didn’t make sense. I checked my amazon order history, and found no such purchase. When I clearly articulated this discrepancy to “Allen”, he hung up.” “440-305-8345 left a message on my phone saying unauthorized Amazon purchase for $99. I know Amazon never calls. I called back. Indian accent answered “Amazon Support Services. Please verify your name” I hung up.”
[UPDATED 9/10/19] In late August and early September, several people have now reported to us that they are receiving phone calls from men and woman (all with accents) who say that they are from Amazon Customer Support, to report a charge on the person’s account. Read what one woman told us about this fraudulent call…
“They said they were from Amazon and 3 days ago I had a purchased an Amazon prime membership for 129.99. (They said) It was charged to my Visa. They confirmed my address then told me the purchase was made from Chicago, IL. I told them that my bank account did not reflect that and my Amazon account did not reflect that. They said it would take 2 hours for it to appear on my bank account. I said ‘from 3 days ago?” I questioned him and he kept giving me b.s. answers. I played along. Finally he asked me to log into my amazon account and type into the search line “Amazon Gift Card”. Which at this point I did not. I told him to get a real job and hung up. But before I did he gave me a call back number that was bogus. The number they called from was 800-300-9009.”
[UPDATED 8/9/19] Many people have now reported to TDS that these criminals are TRICKING PEOPLE into receiving and giving a password reset code to the criminals who then steal the Amazon account of the person calling! Read what one TDS reader told us on August 3:
“Today I realized I had 2 charges from Amazon that I did not recognize. I decided to call customer service with the first number that popped up on my Google search. I called and it was immediately fishy because all I heard was “press one for customer service.” I was connected to a a woman with a heavy accent who asked me why I was calling. I told her the situation and she asked for my email address. I gave it to her and she then told me that she would send me a verification code to my email that I needed to give to her in order to access my information. I gave her the code (which I realize now while re-reading the email with the code) was to reset my password.) I asked her what the two charges were for and she told me that they were for an order of tools that someone had placed. I immediately questioned this because prior to me calling I had looked at my purchase history which did not have anything for that amount. I asked her why I had not seen these items on the purchase history and she told me that whoever had hacked my account had edited said history. I told her that did not make sense. She then told me that there was a pending order that was expected to be delivered in a couple of days and the charge was pending on my card for a total of $230.50. Again this did not make sense because charges that are pending show up immediately on my online banking, not days after an order is placed. I knew something was wrong but I still had a little trust in looking for a number online and not wanting a $200+ charge was putting some pressure on. She then told me that my account was compromised and that it had been accessed in 3 different states that I have never been to. She told me that the only solution was to go to a grocery store in my area and buy something called a “blocking card” and provide them with the number of this card. At this point I had no doubt this was a scam but I kept it up just to see where it would take me. I started to question what this woman had told me and told her that it was insane that a company would send me to a grocery store to do this when my account has been “hacked”. She continued to make excuses for why this needed to happen. One of them being that since my account “had been accessed in several locations” they needed to have a card purchased in my actual location so they could verify it. Again, this makes no sense. I continued to complain about this insanity and she asked me if I wanted to speak to a manager. I said yes and she put me on hold. The manager was a man with a heavy accent who basically repeated what the lady had said. Some more arguing went on and I got tired of it so I hung up. I then used the customer service messaging feature on the Amazon app to talk to a real representative and have my issues figured out. Turns out the charge I was curious about was for a subscription I had forgotten was linked to my Amazon account and nothing more. There was no pending charge and at that point no security issue. “
[UPDATED 7/30/19] We’ve been hearing from many people during the last two weeks of July telling us that they have been defrauded by men with accents who pretend to be Amazon customer support, after finding the phone number in a search online. These “customer representatives” make an excuse to ask the victim to go to a CVS, Walgreens, or Walmart to purchase a “Google Card” or other gift card and give the card number information to the scammer on the phone! Another victim informed us that she was told to visit “FASTSUPPORT[.]COM” where the scammers used a LogMeIn tool to gain access to her control her computer. Don’t give them that control! [UPDATED 7/16/19] A woman informed us that she googled Amazon Prime Customer support and this number came up: +1 (855) 747-5609. She said that she spoke to an “Indian guy” who told her to go on her computer. However, she was not near her computer and only on her phone and could only go to her Amazon Prime App. She had trouble understanding him because of his accent. He finally told her to go to the App Store and download “team viewer for remote control”, which she said “I stupidly did.” Then they told her to allow them access…A BIG MISTAKE! She told them that “this sounds fishy and…I could actually hear someone chuckle.” Then she hung up. She closed by saying “I’ve been completely panicked that they hacked into my phone and stole all my banking and credit card info. I quickly deleted as much as I could on my phone.” Our advice…. Listen to your gut! If it seems fishy or odd, HANG UP!
[UPDATED 6/26/19] On June 26 we heard from two different woman about this scam. The first woman told us she called a number found through a Google search for Amazon tech support to take care of a previous fraudulent charge on her account. The support fellow had an Indian accent (“from India” was her description) and directed her to go to a store to purchase a Google play card ($100.00) and provide him with the numbers. She said she doesn’t drive so he told her to get an Uber or a taxi and he would also refund her for that and the money that was charged fraudulently! Then he told her he would also give her 2 years of Amazon Prime for FREE. She was given till the next morning. He identified himself as Eddie Brian and used phone number 408-652-9495. She called her husband, who told her it was a scam, but it was too late. “Eddie” had already locked her out of her Amazon account by changing her password. Similarly, the second woman found the phone number 800-674-9601 through a Google search. The scammer tricked her to allowing him to take control remotely of her computer. In seconds he had gone to the gift card purchase area and purchased several gift cards for himself, then changed the password on her account. She also described the man as having an accent from “South-east Asia.” (We think it was likely from India.)
[UPDATED 6/8/19] A woman told us she was scammed today by calling a number that she found on the Internet for Amazon prime for the customer service. She was asked to get $100 worth of two cards of Google play and then give the number to her scammer by scratching off the numbers. The scammer was a woman! The victim said said that she was told the money that they owed her would come back to her within an hour. She called scam number: 855-998-1999
[UPDATED 3/29/19] A woman found a phone number for Amazon Prime Customer Service through a Google search and called. She spoke to a man who said she had “fraud on her Amazon account” and needed to verify her identity by going to a store to buy $500 Google play gift cards and give him the numbers. Then the money would be refunded to her after they verified her! Total malarky! The phone number she called was 855-769-6444. After hanging up, she said she received seven calls from 425-448-1894. No messages left and she didn’t answer.
[UPDATED 3/7/19] BEWARE of callers pretending to represent Amazon Prime and telling you that your membership renewal is due! A woman told us on March 7, 2019 that she received a call from 888-303-6999. A man told her that he was calling from Amazon Prime and her membership renewal was up. He was asking her to pay $32. Amazon Prime WILL NEVER call you to renew your membership! Others are reporting this same scam in early March on 800Notes.com from this phone number.
THESE ARE FRAUDULENT PHONE NUMBERS, PUBLISHED BY SCAMMERS AS “Amazon Customer Service” NUMBERS
800-290-5061 800-360-6832 800-443-2068 833-330-6358 844-782-8097 855-581-3400
(A TDS Reader said his mother was scammed by these 855/888 phone numbers and then they called her back on the 717 number.)
951-460-5236 844-759- 5924 206-266-2992 888-808-5851 888-371-2768 855-442-8334
800-440-7566. 203-486-8581 (text scam) 877-546-5672 888-718-0205 801-803-5253 877-498-5554
866-390-0823 855-713-0818 800-596-2793 210-200-7919
(PrimeNewsAM[.]com IS NOT an Amazon website. It was registered on April 7)
Amazon1[.]me is NOT an Amazon support website! It is a scam site registered in India on May 21, 2020 and hosted in Singapore :
THESE ARE THE REAL AMAZON SUPPORT PHONE NUMBERS: 888-280-3321 888-280-4331
CRIMINALS ARE ALSO POSTING FAKE APPLE COMPUTER CUSTOMER SUPPORT NUMBERS. Read our related article
NOT Apple Customer Support Number.
Or hear from Heather at Credit Card Services!
Or learn about other Deceptive Consumer Services
Have you ever lost money to online scams?
Don’t ask “Global Elite Recovery Group” for help!
Martha’s story continues…
Martha said that her call was answered by a man with a Middle Eastern or Indian accent who said he would pass her along to his supervisor to help with her request. Given the many companies who outsource their helpdesks to phone centers in India and elsewhere, she didn’t find it unusual that the men who were assisting her had foreign accents. The manager directed her to a link for gotoassist.com where, he said, he could help her after she entered an access code. (GoToAssist is a service that enables support people to resolve their customers’ technical issues through screen sharing, mouse and keyboard controls.) She thought that the access code would produce the shipping label she was requesting, but the code gave control of her computer to the men at the other end of the phone. As she tells us, within seconds and while talking to her in a way that was distracting and misleading, the men took control over her web browser which was logged into her Amazon account. Quickly, they purchased a hundred dollar Amazon gift card and sent it to an email address that she only saw briefly. She thought it said email@example.com but she wasn’t certain. By now, Martha was extremely suspicious, uncomfortable and asked them to explain what they were doing. Keep in mind that she had called them through a phone number for Amazon Prime Customer Support provided by Google search results. Why should she have any reason to be suspicious, until now. The Manager assured Martha that this gift card was to be credited to her account after he completed a couple more things on her behalf. He asked her to enter her credit card information on the Amazon screen, after which he explained that the problem related to the shipping label was associated with her PayPal account. But Martha doesn’t have a PayPal account. Now she was in a panic as she watched the men purchase another gift card. They seemed so adept and quickly navigated the Amazon screens while logged in as her. As she demanded that he stop and get out of her computer, the man at the other end of the phone yelled horribly offensive things at Martha. He froze her browser so nothing seemed to respond to her commands. And what he said to her was so disturbing that Martha was brought to tears a week later as she described this experience. Finally, in a desperate move, she held down the power button, forcing the computer to shut off. It has been a week since this experience. She said she would not turn it back on until she had skilled, protective services she could trust to assess what may have been done to it and tell her whether or not she can trust it.
The next morning Martha received a phone call from 706-989-0029, with a caller ID described as “Evelyn Spencer.” But when she answered the phone, a man with a Middle Eastern accent told her he was calling because he could see that she was having trouble with her computer. He began to ask questions about the operating system she was using. Martha quickly hung up, but was visibly shaken. She was certain that this call was somehow connected to her experience with the fake Amazon Prime customer support call the day before. Martha described her ordeal as frightening and emotionally upsetting. Like many, her family has a lot of very personal information on her computer including tax information. They use many online accounts in addition to Amazon and they are all connected through family email. What, exactly, was stolen from her? Could she trust her computer again or was something installed on it that could be used to take control or monitor her family? In the days immediately following these events Martha contacted the real people at Amazon, cancelled her credit card, and advised both about the fraud. Fortunately she will not be responsible for the gift card purchases but that is the least of her concerns. She has reported the incident to the FTC website, frozen her credit with the credit reporting agencies, and checked with all of her financial institutions to be certain that the criminals haven’t somehow gained access to these accounts. As you would expect, her family is now using new passwords for their many accounts. Finally, about a week later, Martha took her computer to a local Apple Computer store genius bar. The staff helped her use software to search for malware that might have been installed by the criminals. They found none but she has turned off wifi on the computer to keep it off the Internet and won’t turn it on again until she has additional assurances that her computer is safe to use.
As horrible as Martha’s experiences were, they are not uncommon. The criminals had tricked her and used a professional technology tool to take control of her computer and do harm. They had destroyed her trust in her family’s digital lives and shaken her sense of security and safety in her own home. As a reporter focused on Internet and smartphone fraud, I was saddened but not surprised by her experience. But what struck me as most unusual about these events was the fact that Martha’s troubles began when she used Google to look for an Amazon customer support number. Shouldn’t this have been a simple and safe request of Google? On the morning of August 26, I visited Google and entered “Amazon Prime customer service number.” What I saw was confusing because there were some links with references to a variety of unusual and different phone numbers. I immediately recognized text methods meant to deceive Google and Amazon authorities who might try to find and remove them from search results. To refine my search, I clicked Google’s Tools button and asked to see search results from the past month. The results Google returned were shocking. It wasn’t just a few links for scam phone numbers disguised as Amazon Customer Support, it was dozens. (See screenshot sample below.) Equally important, those scam phone numbers were showing up at the top of Google’s search results. Clearly, the criminals had manipulated Google so that the fraudulent numbers overwhelmed any presence of the real Amazon customer support numbers.
Some of the scam phone numbers had spaces between the numbers, others used a capital letter O instead of a zero, others had multiple periods, plus signs, or colons separating parts of the phone number. And all of them had repeated references to “Amazon Prime” and “Customer Service.” These scam numbers were showing up on blogs and legitimate websites, like Facebook, Wikia, Chezzo, Spotify discussion forum and many, many more.
Here are a few examples of what we found…
We found many more fake Amazon phone numbers littering the Internet via these links…
In the Spotify Community forum:
https :// community.spotify.com/t5/Accounts/FirE4TV-877-360-3446-amazon-prime-customer-support-phone-number/td-p/1881769
On fake Amazon support wordpress blogs:
https :// amazonprimecustomersupportblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/27/amazon-prime-support-number-1-8oo-23o-528o-amazon-customer-service-phone-number/
https :// www.eventbrite.com/e/amazon-seller18oo-734-o842-amazon-prime-customer-service-phone-number-event-held-15aug-tickets-36957830867
Most prominently was a link to a fake Amazon support page on Facebook. Clicking this Facebook link took me to a phony business account that claimed to represent Amazon…
As if that wasn’t enough fraud, I also saw dozens of links for scam phone numbers listed on Amazon’s own website in their community forum! Here’s a screenshot showing one example from Google’s search…
Criminals had cleverly posted messages in Amazon’s own community support area and some of these messages remained undetected for at least seven days, deceiving consumers into thinking that these were legitimate Amazon phone numbers. But that was still not the full extent of the fraud…
Here are additional screenshots on an Amazon community forum going back 7 days and showing many fraudulent customer support numbers…
While reviewing dozens and dozens links for fraudulent Amazon phone numbers that had appeared in Google, across many blogs, websites and social media, I also discovered a website named amazonprimehelpdesk.com. According to a WHOIS lookup, this fraudulent website was registered on March 29, 2017 by someone identified as “Nancy Jain.” This website is being hosted in Karnataka, India. (http://whois.domaintools.com/amazonprimehelpdesk.com)
This fact and other bread crumbs down this rabbit hole suggest that the criminals involved in this effort are from India. It appears as if this criminal gang has been making a very concerted effort to target Amazon consumers by blanketing the Internet with so many fraudulent phone numbers for customer support, that it is nearly impossible for consumers to avoid their traps. And just as Amazon is being used successfully to target consumers, it’s important to remind readers that Google has equally been manipulated. This manipulation is a form of search engine poisoning or “spamdexing” as it is sometimes called. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spamdexing)
At the bottom of this article you will see the content found on just one community post on Amazon’s own website on Aug 26, 2017, 3:45:43 AM PDT from a user named “Garfied I.” (https://www.amazon.com/forum/community/ref=cm_cd_fp_ef_tft_tp?_encoding=UTF8&cdForum=Fx3UD5Q23BDDHVR&cdThread=TxOC49RY4CHWOY) This one post below listed the word “amazon” 325 times, “prime” 147 times, “customer service” or “customer support” 141 times and “membership” 13 times. It’s no wonder that Google found it and seemed to think that it had to do with Amazon Prime Customer Service! Other profile names on Amazon discussion boards have included the username “Customer Support” and “Community Support.” On Amazon’s own community pages, we found the following fraudulent phone numbers posted as customer support numbers between August 17 – 26:
888-229-6124 855-955-6617 800-230-5280 800-734-0842 1855~6Ｏ1~ＯＯＯ3 (855-601-0003) 877-360-3446
By this time, I was so unsure myself between the real and fraudulent Amazon phone numbers that I began to doubt all the numbers I found. By calling and asking Amazon questions about my own account, I was able to confirm three real and official Amazon Customer Support phone numbers. They are…
866-216-1072 (Amazon Digital Services)
However, look closely at the real phone numbers above compared to these next two numbers! In our web research we’ve also found consumer references to nearly identical fraudulent phone numbers used by criminals. The nearly identical scam numbers are 800-280-3321 and 800-280-4331. The best assurance that consumers have reached a real Amazon customer support representative is to ask the representative one of the following questions after providing the name and address on your Amazon account:
- What was the last purchase I made with Amazon and on what date?
- How much was the most recent transaction on my Amazon account?
The real representative will have no problem looking up your order history to confirm this information. A scammer cannot. More importantly, a scammer will make up some reason why he cannot do this or tell you that you have to give him much more personal information such as your account password before he can answer your questions. Giving you a hard time or asking you for your password means it is time to hang up and report the phone number to us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can inform our readers! We will continue to collect and post fraudulent Amazon phone numbers as we find them. Another option to help you with your questions is to log into your Amazon account and then visit: https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/contact-us
It is hard to believe that Amazon wasn’t aware of this problem. If you visit their website, it is quite difficult to locate any of their customer service phone numbers, which may explain why consumers are turning to Google. And that, too, would explain why it may be so profitable for criminals to poison Google’s search results. We reached out to Amazon’s public relations department to ask them important questions we thought consumers would want to know. For example…
- Why are fraudulent phone numbers able to be posted and remain on their community forum for at least a week?
- Why doesn’t Amazon post their customer support phone numbers prominently on their website?
- Why doesn’t Amazon provide some type of warning about this scam for consumers when they log into their Prime accounts?
- Has Amazon tried to work with Google to find and remove the poisoned links?
- Has Amazon itself, conducted searches in Google and tried to contact the website where fraudulent phone numbers are being posted?
Unfortunately, we hard nothing from Amazon.
UPDATE 8/30/18: On August 29 we heard from someone who wished to remain anonymous. Unfortunately these fake Amazon phone number scams are still happening, though far fewer than last Spring. Here is this more recent story…
Last week I was paying my bills and noticed Amazon Prime was charging me $7.99 delivery charge for a $7.26 item. Since I am a prime member, I believe this was incorrect. I could not find a phone number on the Amazon website so I looked on Google and found 844-641-0111. The person answered the phone “Amazon Customer Service.” I explained I wanted a refund and they said they would refund it back to my credit card. After a few minutes, they said it wasn’t working but they could refund it to my debit card, which I stupidly gave them. They kept saying they were having trouble processing the code and all of a sudden Amazon Gift Card purchases began appearing. I asked them what was going on and they said they were having more trouble with authorization codes. I told them I had spent enough time on the phone and they said they would straighten it out and call me back. I was already suspicious and checked my credit card and found charges for 6 Amazon gift cards at $50 each. The charges were still temporary so I found the correct number for Amazon and called them. They said not to worry about the charges and that they would take care of them. However, the next day all the charges went through. I called my bank and they reversed them. I closed all my bank accounts and cancelled my credit cards and debit cards. AMAZON WOULD DO NOTHING. Amazingly, the scammer called me back from a different number 917-809-1232 and tried to scam me all over again, which of course I didn’t fall for. I contacted Amazon again and gave them both phone numbers, but they told me they don’t have a fraud department. Today I wrote Amazon a letter and they replied with ways to avoid being scammed, which was not really helpful. I replied that I had just found several articles going back to at least February 2018 with details about these scams and that Amazon is clearly aware of them. I TOLD THEM THEY WERE NEGLIGENT BY NOT NOTIFYING CUSTOMERS BY EMAIL ABOUT THE FRAUDULENT PHONE NUMBERS BUT THEY HAVE NOT REPLIED.
When TDS searched for the scam phone number 844-641-0111 using Google, we found LOTS of places the number was posted, including a Blogspot.com account and a Facebook page. We managed to get the Facebook page removed quickly but not the Blogspot page:
UPDATE 3/14/18: A woman named Therra contacted us today about her experience with this scam. Fortunately, and for reasons we don’t understand, the criminals only scammed her out of $25. Here is her story…
“I had never actually purchased anything from Amazon prior to the scam I fell victim to yesterday. I shopped in December on Amazon, but never went past the “add to cart” step in the process. Last month, my pre-paid billing statement had a monthly Amazon Prime membership charge of $11.37, that I didn’t know I had inadvertantly agreed to. I didn’t call to get clarification of the charge until yesterday. I had added my bank card to my Amazon profile, with intentions to purchase my selection, but decided not to because the delivery date was not going to be soon enough. My visit to Amazon.com was an attempt to buy Christmas gifts I couldn’t find in stores as easily and on time. I received another billing statement summary, that had a membership fee of $13.80 a couple of days ago, and decided it was time to try and cancel the apparent ongoing charges. I hoped for a refund, because I don’t recall agreeing to this membership. I typed in my android Google search engine: “Amazon Prime Membership Customer Service.” Immediately, “call 888- 232- 6879 for Amazon Customer Service” popped up. I now realize, with regret, that the source of the number was from a site, other than Amazon, that had pulled up when I was given potential options to select that the search engine generated…. That was my next error in this mess… I called the number, and a call center picked up after 1-2 rings. A man with an accent from India answered with a greeting introducing himself as a representative of Amazon. I began to explain my dilemma and frustration with the membership fee, and almost immediately he offered resolution and refund. He sounded very professional. He asked for me to verify my address, phone number, but… What should have been a red flag was him requesting my name and bank information verification later on. He walked me through the membership cancellation process and even asked about the email prompts associated with the selection to cancel. He then directed me to the Google app iTunes gift card. Walked me through those steps with a promise of a code that would be sent to my email. I was under the impression they needed to verify that the card and email was indeed mine. My name was entered initially without success to send because I accidentally entered an incorrect number sequence. He then told me to type in his email so he could watch for it to successfully send since mine was not working. To no avail, 20 min elapsed and my infant was fussing due to teething. He said he would take care of it, to tend to my son, and he would call me back in am hour. The first “dummy” transaction canceled due to that incorrect number sequence entry.. but the second was a success. It prompted my email that email@example.com (email below) had successfully received the transaction. My account was deducted $25.00. I had just paid to put money on this card for a bill, so unfortunately the funds we’re able to be used. Normally, I’m cash only. I called back still naive to the scam, and got another India-sounding “rep” on the line, and briefly described my issue of Amazon now owing me $50.00… He placed me on hold for his fellow “scammer” rep… Which I do not recall the name he called him by, and was again connected to him for assistance. He acted like we were picking up where we left off now the funds we’re debited. He then AGAIN tried getting me to go through the same process promising a “credit” to go through this time…. I asked, “should we select $50.00 instead, since I am now owed $50.00? He responded no, and I was apprehensive about doing the steps again due to the debit of $25.00… He said I could trust him. I requested a supervisor to confirm the bizarre methods. He said the supervisor was in a meeting, that this was legit, and to just do it. My boyfriend asked, “what number did you call?”.. I responded that I wasn’t sure. Men chuckled on the scammer’s end of the phone. This put more doubt in my now perception of the reality of my situation. I asked again for a supervisor… He offered a future call back from his supervisor. The call ended after he said the funds will eventually be put back. As mindful as I am typically, I can honestly say I learned valuable wisdom from this experience. Thankfully, I have never been in any situation like this before… And really have never had to encounter the dark side of people online. So… For what it is, I am no longer naive to scams of this sort. Therra”
And then, just two days later, Therra sent us this…
“The scammers from my original story just called me (2 days later) and told me the company Microsoft shut down. I said, “let me guess… You need my bank card information to refund my money for Amazon by doing a dummy transaction via Google iTunes gift card. He responded, “uh yes ma’am. May I please have your information so we can refund your $25.00 plus $25.00.” They were going to try and get me for $50.00 this time!”
UPDATE 9/26/17: Today we received an email from a senior citizen who shared this story with us….
“I called Amazon support 888.365.9444 to report a series of phishing emails I had received. I spoke with an “Amazon representative” whom informed me the phishing emails had likely infected my computer as I had open 1 as the subject line indicated an order # and I had an order pending. The fake rep told me they worked very closely with ITE Solutions and transferred my call. In short, I was a total idiot and took the bait, allowing them access to my computers via logmein and writing an e-check for $739.98. I am working with my bank to get payment stopped on the check, but they use a random check number. Yes, I missed every darn clue. Spoke to Amazon today and they basically threw me under the bus. The incident occurred Saturday. Today I further investigated the phone number which shows high on the Google list for Amazon, Apple, HP and Facebook. I always read how senior citizens get scammed, and say “Not me.” Well it was me and I am very embarrassed that I allowed this to happen. Don’t be their next victim.”
Surprisingly, we found few people online reporting this scam and raising consumer awareness. Here are the few links we found from around the web:
Woman who posted a video on YT claimed on July 31, 2017 that 888-229-6651 is a fake Amazon Prime customer support number: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrfX26xqgtE (Advance to 15 minutes and 30 seconds into the video for this exact reference.)
As always, we have your back! TheDailyScam.com will continue to keep this story updated and post fraudulent phone numbers as we learn of them.
UPDATE: On January 21, 2018 we asked Google to search for “Amazon Prime customer service phone number” and the very first item listed was a scam phone number:
Clearly, this scam continues. We had no problem finding another 11 fraudulent phone numbers added to the Internet since January 5, 2018. We even found this one posted on Amazon’s own website…
FOOTNOTE: On August 2017, we discovered that criminals manipulated Google and other search engines into providing Americans with fraudulent phone numbers for Amazon and other services by posting an extensive list of words related to that service. They did this all over the Internet by the hundreds, if not thousands. Below are two examples. The first is a screenshot sent to us on April 2, 2018 by an woman who is an Amazon Seller. She tells us that the Seller forums are often poisoned by these posts such as in this example…
Here is a Community Post from Amazon.com August 26, 2017, 3:45:43 AM PDT It was meant to manipulate search engines:
@^@^@^Call Amazon Prime Phone Number 1.888.229.6124 Amazon Customer Service number for Amazon prime membership customer service contact You can reach our amazon customer service department at 1-888-229-6124. You can reach us at 1.888.229.6124 to use our automated customer support system. International customers can reach us at 1 888 229 6124. 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