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Scammers contact people referencing two well-known companies — Apple and Amazon, to steal personal information such as an account password or credit card information. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released this consumer warning explaining the con’s variations on Dec. 3, 2020.
In the first, an automated call with a recorded message from Amazon. The voice indicates there is a problem with the person’s account. The situation varies from a lost package, a suspicious purchase or an order that cannot be filled. Below is a sample 24-second fraudulent call provided by the FTC:
An unauthorized purchase of an iPhone XR 64 GB for $749 has been ordered on your account. To cancel your order, or to connect to one of our customer support representatives please press one or simply stay on the line.
Another recorded call warns there is suspicious activity on the person’s Apple iCloud. The voice explains the account has been breached:
There is suspicious activity on your iCloud account. It has been breached before using any Apple device please contact an Apple support advisor. Press one to connect now or press two to hear this message again.
The caller offers to connect the consumer with a customer support person — conveniently by pressing one in each call. Or the customer is given a number to call.
The FTC warns not to do either — it is a scam. They are trying to steal the consumer’s personal information. Do not give out an account password or credit card information to the so-called account support person.
Hang up instead. Do not call the number left by the recorded caller.
The commission suggests the consumer verify their account by contacting the company by calling a verified number on their official website. Moreover, the FTC recommends consumers block unwanted calls — on whatever phone line the call came in on, landline or mobile.
Report a suspected scam at the FTC website — ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
FTC: Fake calls from Apple and Amazon support: What you need to know; Alvaro Puig
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of TORLEY’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Julian Carvajal’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License