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Consumers Report $27 Million in Losses from This Amazon Scam

Consumers Report $27 Million in Losses from This Amazon Scam

Scammers are impersonating Amazon to an astounding extent and with resounding success, according to the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC has been warning about impersonation scams – calls that falsely claim to come from the IRS, for example – that try to coerce people into making immediate payments or turning over sensitive personal information.

It found that from July 2020 through June 2021, about one in three people who reported a business impersonator to the FTC said the scammer claimed to be calling from Amazon.

About 96,000 people reported being targeted, and nearly 6,000 said they lost money in these scams. Reported losses topped more than $27 million with the reported median individual loss totaling about $1,000. (Seems like more information is needed on that math.) The next most frequently impersonated company was Apple with about 16,000 reports.

Older people are more likely to report losing money to an Amazon impersonator, and their losses were higher. Over the past year, the median reported loss of people age 60 and up from such scams was $1,500 compared to $814 for those under age 60.

The FTC said its usual advice to consumers is to ignore unexpected messages and, when in doubt, contact the company at a verifiable customer service line.

However, it said, “Unfortunately, many companies – Amazon included – have made it challenging for consumers to detect and stop scams like this because people can’t find an easy way to identify if a questionable message is genuine.”

Check it out on the FTC blog post, “FTC Data Spotlight on scammers impersonating Amazon: How businesses can reduce injury to consumers,” posted by Maria Mayo, Acting Associate Director, Division of Consumer Response and Operations, FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.