What is the Amazon Bonus Credit Text Scam & How to Avoid It
What could motivate you to click on a random link? For some people, it’s finding out you have a gift waiting for you, or maybe some money you didn’t know you had. For others, it’s time pressure and the fear of missing out.
The Amazon bonus credit text scam plays on both of these weaknesses at once. “You have some money you can spend on Amazon,” it says, “but act now before it expires.” It’s only natural you’d want to find out more.
But that’s how these scams work: they use our normal, knee-jerk reactions against us.
Read on to learn how to spot an Amazon rewards credit scam text, what to do when you get one, and what steps you should take if you’ve already fallen for the Amazon bonus credit text scam in any of its forms.
Is the Amazon rewards credit text a scam?
Yes, it’s a scam. It can be hard to just ignore $100, $130, or whatever sum of money the text mentions, but it’s definitely a scam. The whole point of the text message you receive is to get you to click on the link it contains.
The whole point of that link is to grab your private data, and possibly use it to steal money from you straight away. The website you’re redirected to is designed to let the scammers gain access to your Amazon account, banking information, and maybe even your Social Security number—the sky’s the limit.
Text scams like this can use any company’s name, but Amazon users are by far their most popular target. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) published a report on impersonator scams in October 2021, finding that over 1 in 3 reported scammers were pretending to be from Amazon.
How to spot the scam
There are many red flags that give the Amazon bonus credit scam away. There are versions floating around, but the most common is simply a text message claiming that you have unused Amazon bonus credit.
Be on the lookout If you get a text message, supposedly from Amazon, that:
- Contains spelling and grammatical errors—you’d be hard-pressed to find these in anything actually put out by Amazon, even via text
- Includes a link to anything other than a site starting with amazon.com
- Puts you under time pressure—simply by saying “time is running out” or by giving you a concrete deadline or timeframe
- Asks you for your Amazon password or any other passwords (Amazon will never do this).
Many of these text messages will use your actual name—don’t let that fool you. The scammers probably got your name when they got your phone number, possibly from a people search site or other data broker.
This is what a typical scam text looks like:
What to do if you come across the Amazon bonus credit text scam
The first thing you should do if you get an Amazon bonus credit scam text is nothing. Don’t follow any links it contains, don’t reply to the message, and don’t call the number it was sent from.
Take a screenshot of the text message and note down the scammer’s phone number. Then report the scam to:
- Amazon at email@example.com
- The FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov
- The Better Business Bureau (BBB) here.
Finally, block the sender and/or delete the text message.
What to do if you fell victim to an Amazon bonus credit text scam
This is all well and good, but what if you’ve already clicked on the link and entered your details into whatever site it sent you to?
It’s time to do some damage control. The sooner you do the following, the better.
Change your Amazon password and payment details
The scammer can make purchases in your name if they have your login details. So change your Amazon password immediately. Change your payment details too, if they may have been compromised.
Monitor or lock down your credit card
Keep an eye on your credit card activity even if you didn’t enter or view your credit card details after clicking on the scammer’s link. Contact your bank and put a freeze on your credit card if there’s a chance the scammer could have your credit card information.
Use Amazon’s customer support page to report the fact that you fell victim to this scam. Visit the FTC’s identity theft portal to start the recovery process if you have reason to believe that your ID documents and/or SSN were compromised.
Then, go back and follow the links given above to report the Amazon bonus credit scam text you received to Amazon, the FTC, and the BBB. This is more to help other people avoid such scams in the future.
Do you want to know about more Amazon scams to be aware of? Check out these guides: