Amazon Prime alert


Staff member
Scammers are trying to rob Amazon Prime users of $800. Here's what to know.

Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press
USA TODAYSun., December 6, 2020

Ron Kroll just finished buying six or seven gifts online for his grandchildren. So when he got a phone call from Amazon that claimed that he had nearly $800 in charges on his account, well, he kind of panicked.

"It was a recorded message, supposedly from Amazon, stating that there was a pending charge of $799.75," he said.

"This is Amazon calling," he remembers hearing.

Scammers, no doubt, will be working overtime in December to impersonate all sorts of big names, including Amazon, as holiday shoppers order more online to deal with social distancing as COVID-19 cases spike in many communities.

The holiday season leaves many families juggling so many errands and odd jobs that some consumers end up being more vulnerable to a scam call. If you're busy and overstressed already, you're not always playing at the top of your game.

One automated call that I received this week told me that my Apple iCloud account had been compromised and I shouldn't use it to buy online until I fixed the problem. Press 1, the voice said. I hung up, knowing that scammers will try to capture login information, and might even ask for access to my computer.

But really who isn't worried when they think their card or computer has been compromised?

Kroll, a retired police sergeant from the city of Westland, Michigan, usually doesn't even pick up his cellphone if he doesn't recognize the number. Yet, he was expecting a delivery and thought maybe, this was the call.

The recording advised him that he needed to press 1 now if he did not make those purchases to connect with an Amazon representative.

Fortunately, being flustered worked this time in the consumer's favor.

Kroll, 61, told me that he was on a walk at the time, rushed to punch the No. 1 but ultimately fumbled making the return call immediately because he was wearing gloves and hit the wrong numbers a few times too many on his iPhone.

"Thank God for panic mode sometimes," Kroll told me in a phone interview.

By the time he tried to call the number back, there was no answer....