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BBB: Scammers are taking advantage of the increase in buying on Amazon

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Posted at 11:21 AM, Oct 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-09 11:21:45-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Scammers are spoofing phone numbers for the Better Business Bureau in their latest efforts to get money and personal information from unwary consumers. And they are targeting consumers’ increased reliance on Amazon in their efforts.

The Better Business Bureau Serving West Michigan says the Amazon scam hasn’t shown up yet in Michigan, but other offices around the country have seen as many as 100 complaints.

Here’s how it works:

  • A recorded message claiming to be from Amazon says there is a problem with your Amazon account. It could be a fraudulent charge or a lost or damaged package or an unfulfilled order for an iPhone.
  • The message requests your personal information.
  • Sometimes you are brazenly asked for credit card numbers and Amazon account login information.
  • The scammers may ask to be permitted to gain remote access to your computer to help solve the totally made-up problem.
  • The phone number displayed belongs to a trusted organization, and lately it has been the Better Business Bureau.

What you can do:

  • Demand to know who is calling and why.
  • Give out no personal information.
  • Report the caller to Amazon customer service. You can start on their web site.
  • Find a way to contact the organization on your own and call to verify.

“The Better Business Bureau, and most other companies, won’t take offense if you want to take the time to verify you are talking to the real organization,” says Phil Catlett, president of the Better Business Bureau Serving Western Michigan.