Amazon Survey Scam & Remove Your Info
Amazon survey scams are always floating around the web, but these online scams really come out of the woodwork around major shopping events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. According to the Better Business Bureau, this threat became especially prevalent during the COVID-19 pandemic, with consumers turning more and more to online shopping.
Scammers hope to take advantage of consumers while they prepare for the holiday season, with promises of free prizes such as the iPhone 11 Pro. If you fall for the bait and visit one of their fake survey web pages, these criminals extract your personal information and steal your money or identity.
With Black Friday and Cyber Monday just around the corner, you’ll need to stay vigilant to avoid fake survey scams. Below, we’ve outlined everything you should watch out for and steps to take if you suspect you’re dealing with or have already fallen prey to one of these survey scams.
Is the Amazon survey prize a scam?
If you receive any text messages or emails or come across a pop-up promising an Apple iPhone or some other valuable, free product for taking part in an Amazon survey, it’s definitely a scam.
Following a link will lead you to a scam website where you’ll be asked to enter sensitive information such as credit card details or asked to pay processing fees.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, victims have lost a total of $27 million to Amazon impersonation scams between July 2020 and June 2021 alone. Other favorites for scammers to impersonate are the Social Security Administration, Publishers Clearing House, Apple, Microsoft, PayPal, Medicare, and Walmart.
How to spot Amazon fake survey scams
There are several different types of Amazon survey scams making the rounds on the internet, with the fake Amazon loyalty program scam and the Amazon anniversary scam among the most common. While each may vary in detail, they all have some things in common.
An announcement from an unofficial source
Any legitimate surveys, sweepstakes, or rewards from Amazon will be delivered through official channels: either on the Amazon website or to your Amazon account inbox. However, a survey scam will reach you through an unsolicited text message, email, or random pop-up.
These messages will likely include spelling and grammatical mistakes, another sure sign they aren’t coming from Amazon.
Wherever the message comes from, it will contain a link. At first glance, it may even appear legit. However, if you look at the URL, it will either be completely random or disguised as an Amazon link with tiny spelling differences. A real Amazon link will always start with https://www.amazon.com/…
An “innocent” survey
This wouldn’t be a survey scam without a survey. Once you get to the fake Amazon website, you’ll be prompted to log in to your Amazon account (giving away your credentials), provide sensitive information as part of the survey, and provide your contact details and address for “delivery.”
Companies like Amazon do benefit from conducting surveys. However, if anything at all, a typical incentive for taking part in an Amazon survey may be a small discount, not an iPhone.
Remember, the only free cheese is in the mousetrap.
Sense of urgency
The last thing a scammer wants is for you to stop and think or, worse, look up their fake survey online. This is why most scams will push you to act fast. There will either be a timer or the risk of missing out on “limited goods” to make you click the link as soon as possible.
Amazon, or any legitimate business, will never apply this kind of pressure.
What to do if you see the Amazon survey scam
If you come across an Amazon survey and aren’t 100% sure if it’s legit, don’t rush into it. That’s what scammers want you to do. Instead, take your time and make sure you aren’t dealing with a scammer before you continue.
Here’s what you can do:
- Check online. Look up the survey or reward on offer. Most likely, you’ll find articles or prior victims warning you about the scam.
- Don’t follow links. Instead, go to the Amazon website and navigate to the page you are looking for yourself. If it can’t be avoided, always check the link carefully first. Hover over it to reveal the URL. If it doesn’t start with https://www.amazon.com/…, don’t click!
- Check with Amazon. If you still aren’t sure about the survey, contact Amazon customer support. They will be able to clear up whether the survey is legit or a scam.
What to do if you fell victim to an Amazon survey scam
Sometimes, even the best of us fall for a convincing scam (or offer just too good to pass up). While it may not be possible to get back any money you might have lost, there are some steps you should take to hold the scammers responsible and protect yourself from any more harm.
Change your passwords
The first thing you should do is change the passwords for any accounts that may have been affected. This includes your Amazon, email, PayPal, or online banking accounts. With any luck, this will prevent the criminals from doing further damage.
Don’t engage with the scammer
Whatever you do, don’t reply to any text messages or emails from the scammer, and don’t answer their phone calls if they try to contact you. This will only expose you to more risk.
Instead, collect any evidence, such as phone numbers, email addresses, and screenshots, and block the scammer.
Next, you should file reports with your local police, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Better Business Bureau.
- Police: Call the non-emergency number of your local police department or visit the precinct in person.
- FTC: file a report here or call 1-877-382-4357.
- BBB: make a complaint here.
Monitor your bank and credit card activity
If you suspect that the scammers have your credit card details, contact your bank and have the card replaced. Otherwise, keep a close eye on your bank and credit card statements for any unusual activity. Keep in mind that criminals might wait a while before they start using your accounts to avoid detection.
Upgrade your security
To help prevent any further attacks, we recommend upgrading your online security and privacy software and practices.
- Use a VPN to browse the internet privately and protect yourself from external attacks while using public networks.
- Use antivirus software to protect your devices from malicious software.
- Remove your personal information from the internet to prevent cybercriminals from gaining access to your devices and online accounts.
Do you want to know about more Amazon scams to be aware of? Check out these guides: