What Is the Amazon iPhone Scam & How to Avoid It
Scam calls and robocalls are nothing new, but they’re still around. Why? Because they work—not often, but often enough to be worthwhile for the scammers. Unfortunately, the Amazon iPhone scam calls have all the elements needed to rack up more victims than most.
You get a call from “Amazon” informing you that an expensive iPhone is being purchased through your Amazon account right now. You’re given the option to cancel the order immediately. The impulse to scramble to do just that is totally understandable.
It’s also the worst thing you could do, placing you in the scammer’s web, where they’ll skillfully pump you for your most sensitive data, especially your financial information. Read on to learn how to spot these Amazon scam calls, what to do if you receive one, and what to do if you’ve already fallen for an Amazon iPhone scam call.
Is the Amazon phone call you received a scam?
Have you received a phone call or robocall from an unknown number or even one that looks like it’s coming from Amazon? Were you informed that an iPhone (or other big-ticket item) was being purchased from your account? Then yes, the Amazon phone call you received is a scam.
The scammers are after your personal information, from Amazon login and contact details to payment and other financial information. They might already know a lot about you, you can thank data brokers for that, but the data they’re fishing for could allow them to really do some damage.
How to spot the scam
It’s not difficult to spot an Amazon iPhone scam call, at least not when you know hundreds of your hard-earned dollars aren’t on the line. The problem is that these scammers like to turn up the pressure, trigger a fear response, and cloud your better judgment.
The scam starts when you get a call from someone pretending to be from Amazon or Amazon’s customer support department. Often, this is a robocall. Using robocalls allows scammers to cast a wider net, engaging individual scammers only once someone’s already taken the bait.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has a recording of a typical example of such a robocall on its website. The script varies only slightly from case to case. The biggest things that change over time are the model and price of the iPhone. Here’s a transcript of the Amazon scam call on the FTC’s site:
“An unauthorized purchase of an iPhone XR 64GB for $749 is being ordered from your Amazon account. To cancel your order or to connect with one of our customer support representatives, please press “1” or simply stay on the line. Please press “1” to connect with our customer support team.”
So, what happens if you press 1 on an Amazon scam call? You’re redirected to someone impersonating an Amazon employee or contractor. They will then “verify your identity” and “double check” your payment and other financial details before helping you cancel the order. The goal is to gain access to your accounts and money.
Amazon does sometimes call customers directly, but it will never ask you for any sensitive data over the phone. If somebody posing as an Amazon representative asks for information like your password, credit card number, or even just contact details, it’s a scam.
What to do if you get an Amazon iPhone scam call
Whether you get an actual call or robocall, the moment you hear the words “Amazon” and “unauthorized purchase” or “iPhone”, the best thing you can do is simply hang up. Easier said than done when you’ve just heard that you might be out hundreds of dollars as a result, but it really is the best approach to take.
If you’re worried that the call might have been legitimate after all, check whatever payment method you’ve got tied to your Amazon account as well as your Amazon account itself. Dollars to donuts there’s nothing there.
On the very off chance that there is some suspicious activity on your account, contact customer support from the Amazon page. If there’s nothing odd happening in your account or associated payment method, then you’re in the clear.
Whatever you do, do not:
- Reveal any passwords or credit card details over the phone
- Visit any websites given to you over the phone
- Download any software when asked
- Share your screen with anyone
- Give anyone access to your computer or other devices.
These are all things that only scammers would ask you to do. A real Amazon representative would at most ask you to go to www.amazon.com.
What to do if you fell victim to an Amazon iPhone scam call
It’s not the end of the world if you’ve already fallen for an Amazon scam phone call—the fear and time pressure these scammers leverage can catch the best of us off guard. Here’s what you can do to protect your data and make a start on doing some damage control:
Change your Amazon password
If you gave up your account password or typed it in while on a website given to you by the scammer or while sharing your screen with them, change your password immediately. Go to www.amazon.com from a different device and update your password there.
Protect your finances
Contact your bank if you shared any credit card information or other payment details with the scammer. Follow any steps suggested by your bank. Keep tabs on your transactions and credit card statements.
Scan your device
If at any stage you visited a website recommended by the scammer, shared your screen, or granted them access to your device, then download reputable antivirus software and run a full system scan. Uninstall anything you installed while following the scammer’s instructions.
Report the scam
Reporting the Amazon iPhone scam will build a paper trail for later legal action, if that becomes necessary, and it’ll certainly help others avoid falling into the same trap.
- Use Amazon’s Help & Customer Service page to report what happened.
- File a complaint with the BBB to warn others.
- Contact your local police department if you’ve lost money or had your computer compromised.
Begin the identity recovery process
Visit the FTC’s identity theft portal if you’re worried that you’ve handed over the kind of information that could be used to steal your identity, like your Social Security number, or if the scammer had access to your computer at any stage.
Do you want to know about more Amazon scams to be aware of? Check out these guides: