The Online Scammer Gremlins Are After You and Your Money
Being online more hours than not is the new norm for most. Birthing as 2020 rolled out with all things COVID, predators, and scammers multiplied, creating a mecca for their schemes and pilfering.
Scams and cons are not uncommon. In the spring of every year, unsolicited phone calls claiming IRS moneys are generated to unsuspecting Americans who are collectively bilked out of mega millions of dollars.
Note: the IRS does not initiate calls to taxpayers … it only communicates via US mails. It does not communicate via email.
Today, there is a hike of emails flowing your way via email that have fraud as their goal either demanding a month or stating that you have authorized a charge on your account or credit card. Pay attention.
This past month, I’ve had multiple SOS emails from clients asking about emails they’ve received … are they legit? Demands for money, notices of orders coming their way … what should they do? Many have come with “Amazon” in the lead line of the notice.
If you receive anything suspicious, NOTHING is what you should do.
The online fraud gremlins want money. YOURS. And the more they can suck from your credit cards, the better. The smart online user must protect themselves from fraud on the internet by identifying and avoiding scams and phishing attempts. All of us need to be on alert.
How to Avoid Amazon Payment Scams
In checking in with Amazon, this is what it advises if you are in receipt of one of those emails out of the blue that reads fishy or relates to something that you did not order or know nothing about.
When in doubt, ask the intended recipient for more information about the purpose and safety of the requested payment. Don’t send the payment until you’re comfortable with the transaction.
To avoid payment scams:
- Don’t do business with a seller who directs you off the Amazon website. A legitimate Amazon seller transaction will never occur off the Amazon website.
- Don’t send money (by cash, wire transfer, Western Union, PayPal, MoneyGram, or other means, including by Amazon Payments) to a seller who claims that Amazon or Amazon Payments will guarantee the transaction, refund your funds if you’re not satisfied with the purchase, or hold your funds in escrow.
- Don’t make a payment to claim lottery or prize winnings, or on a promise of receiving a large amount of money.
- Don’t make a payment because you’re “guaranteed” a credit card or loan.
- Don’t respond to an internet or phone offer that you’re not sure is honest.
- Don’t make a payment to someone you don’t know or whose identity you can’t verify.
- Don’t respond to emails that ask you to provide account information, such as your email address and password combination. Amazon will never ask you for personal information. To learn more, see Identifying Whether an Email is from Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=G4YFYCCNUSENA23B
Don’t just stop there … if you receive phony emails, phone calls, text messages, or land on a suspicious webpage, REPORT it.
On Amazon’s “help” portion of its website, it clearly says it wants to hear from you if you have received anything
According to Amazon’s “help” portion of its website, it clearly states:
We take fraud, scam, phishing, and spoofing attempts seriously. If you receive correspondence you think may not be from Amazon, please report it immediately.
What to Do with Suspicious Emails or Webpages
Your next steps are simple. It’s copy and paste time. Then forward it directly to Amazon. Here’s what it wants you to do:
To report a phishing or spoofed email or webpage:
- Open a new email and attach the email you suspect is fake.
For suspicious webpages, copy & paste the link into the email body.
If you can’t send the email as an attachment, forward it.
- Send the email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: Sending the suspicious email as an attachment is the best way for Amazon to track it.
Amazon doesn’t respond personally when you report a suspicious correspondence to email@example.com, but you may receive an automatic confirmation. If you have security concerns about your account, please contact it.
And, If You Receive a Suspicious Phone Calls or Text Messages
Report any suspicious phone calls or text messages to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). It does want to hear from you.
To report a phone call or text message, here’s where to report fraud to the FTC—follow the onscreen assistant. https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/#/
If you’re concerned about your account security, check out the Protect Your System on Amazon for tips and recommendations. https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/?nodeId=201127790
There you have it. I always want to hear of frauds that are floating around. BUT it’s up to YOU to do your own homework and check it out … and report it.
Judith Briles is a book publishing expert and coach. She empowers authors and works directly with authors who want to be seriously successful and has been writing about and conducting workshops on publishing since the ’80s. Judith is the author of 37 books including Author YOU: Creating and Building Your Author and Book Platforms, Snappy Sassy Salty: Wise Words for Authors and Writers, and How to Create a $1,000,000 Speech. Her personal memoir When God Says NO-Revealing the YES When Adversity and Loss Are Present is a #1 bestseller on Amazon. Collectively, her books have earned over 45 book awards. Judith speaks throughout the year at publishing conferences.
Throughout the year, she holds Judith Briles Book Unplugged experiences: Publishing, Speaking, Marketing, and Social Media. All are two-day intensive limited to a small group of authors who want to be seriously successful. Join Judith live for the “AuthorU-Your Guide to Book Publishing” podcast on the Toginet Radio Network HERE.
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