Voice of the consumer: Beware scammers posing as Amazon as holiday season approaches

11 Call For Action lead investigator Katie Pelton.
11 Call For Action lead investigator Katie Pelton.(KKTV)
Published: Oct. 18, 2021 at 6:35 AM MDT
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Our 11 News Call For Action team pens a weekly column for our news partner The Gazette. Previous columns can be found here.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - It’s hard to believe the holidays are right around the corner, and a lot of us are already doing our holiday shopping. When you are shopping online, there are some red flags you want to watch out for. This includes the Amazon imposter scam, where crooks pose as Amazon workers and try to steal your money.

“Over the last year or so, Amazon imposter scams have really skyrocketed in the amount of reports we have gotten from folks across Colorado,” said Mark Fetterhoff with AARP Elderwatch. “People really need to be wary about the different types of scams that are out there where the scammers are posing as retailers, like Amazon.”

KKTV 11 News is teaming up with AARP Elderwatch to warn you about the latest scams, as part of our weekly segment called “Fraud Friday.” Fetterhoff says the scammers are using several ploys.

“One way is someone might get an unsolicited phone call saying that they’re with Amazon and that person has a problem with their account. You shouldn’t trust an unsolicited call from someone saying they’re with Amazon. Amazon is not making outbound calls,” Fetterhoff said.

“Additionally, people are receiving emails that look very much like an email coming from Amazon. Often times, those emails say that a person has purchased a large ticket item, like a TV or a phone, and they’re expected to pay for it. The reality is that it’s just a spoofed email that they are trying to phish and get you to respond.”

If you are worried that Amazon, or any other company, may be trying to get a hold of you, you should contact them using a trusted phone number. You can also log into your known account and check your recent purchases to make sure there is nothing wrong with your account.

“The most important thing is disengage with these people if they’re trying to get a hold of you,” said Fetterhoff. “Hang up on anyone that calls and says they’re with Amazon, delete any calls or text messages that look suspicious that say they are coming from Amazon.”

“It’s hard to get rid of these types of scams, but they’re going to stick around as long as they work, so another really important thing to do is report the scams and let us know about them,” Fetterhoff said. “They change every day so we want to hear about it.”

AARP Elderwatch partners with the Colorado Attorney General’s Office to educate older Coloradans across the state about different types of frauds and scams. You can call the consumer helpline at 800-222-4444, press option “2″ to talk to AARP Elderwatch. If you are the victim of a scam, you should also report it to local law enforcement.

You can watch ‘Fraud Friday’ each Friday on KKTV 11 News at Noon.

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