12 January 2017

Fake Amazon emails: be vigilant

Action Fraud (the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime) has recently received numerous reports from members of the public who have been sent convincing-looking emails claiming to be from Amazon.

The spoofed emails, which come from the email address service@amazon.co.uk, claim that recipients have made an order online and mimic an automatic customer email notification.

The emails have claimed that recipients have ordered items including an expensive vintage chandelier, Bose stereos, iPhones or luxury watches; they then stated that if recipients had not authorised these purchases, they could click on the help centre link to receive a full refund. The link leads to an authentic-looking website, which asks recipients to confirm their name, address and bank card information.

Amazon says that suspicious emails will often contain:

  • Links to websites that look like Amazon.co.uk, but are not Amazon.co.uk;
  • Attachments or prompts to install software on your computer;
  • Typos or grammatical errors;
  • Forged (or spoofed) e-mail addresses to make it look like the email is coming from Amazon.co.uk when in fact it is not.

Amazon has confirmed that it will never ask for personal information to be supplied by email.

You can read more about identifying suspicious emails claiming to be from Amazon by visiting https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=201489210.

https://www.cyberaware.gov.uk/ also contains useful information on how to stay safe online.

The safest way to check whether a fraudulent transaction has been made through your Amazon account (or any other online account) is to visit the website independently (without using any links provided in the suspicious email), log in and check your recent orders. If you have not authorised an order that has been made through your account you should contact the company’s customer services department.

To report a fraud or cybercrime, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

To discuss this topic further, please contact Marie Broadhead.