Amazon Prime scam
Several incidents of fraud have been reported in Somerset involving fake Amazon Prime calls. The fraudster claims to be an official from Amazon and calls the victims on their landline. The fraudster questions either an issue with a payment or a problem with the victim’s Prime membership.
The scam is aimed at getting access to your bank account and works like this:
During the call a pre-recorded message invites the victim to press 1 on their phone to link to an operator.
A long conversation follows in which the victim is asked to re-connect to the caller via a computer or mobile device to “allow Amazon to link to their account”.
While the fraudster talks to the victim, they ask them to log on to their online banking via the remote device to check whether a refund has been made to their bank.
The caller talks to the victim, distracting them from looking at their device. While the victim is distracted money is quickly transferred from their bank, or even an application for a loan made while the banking session is open.
This is not a trivial fraud involving monthly premiums for Prime. The key to it is getting access to your bank account. 3 separate incidents in Somerset have been reported involving the loss of at least £15,000.
It is possible that there are a number of other unreported incidents too.
Amazon have confirmed that these calls are nothing to do with them. Amazon assert they will never call and ask for personal information, including bank PiN numbers and passwords.
The Police have advised us that any attempts for permission to remotely access your computer or phone should be a red flag warning.
If you are suspicious or uncomfortable about the call, finish it immediately and call the company who claimed to call you, using their official number.
It is advisable if possible to use a different phone to ensure the telephone line has not been held open by the fraudster.
If you believe that any link to your device has been added by the fraudster – such as TeamViewer – have it professionally removed and keep the device disconnected from the internet.