“Amazon Security” was just a scam

Just got a telephone call from “Amazon Security,” which wanted to talk to me about my account.

“Hold on a second,” I said, as I hung up on “Amazon Security.”

Here’s one reason to love cell phones: They show the caller and the number. This one did not say “Amazon Security,” but even if it did, that doesn’t mean it is really Amazon. The ID can be faked.

I hit the “recall” button to return the call to “Amazon Security.”

No such number, Verizon told me. 

A scam, as I suspected. I regretted not having played along to see how they would attempt to pry my private info out of me, as I have in the past. But I was not in the mood.

I was in the mood a few years back and played along with someone from the “sheriff’s office,” who told me — in broken English — to send a money order or they would turn my “case over to the FBI.”

It may be hard to believe, but some people get panicked into sending money, even when they have done nothing wrong. The scammers, we are told, “target the elderly.” Hell — I’m elderly, but I’m not simple. Well, some are, I guess (as are some Millennials). 

In 2013, I did a column on a woman who got a call from “Microsoft tech support,” which wasn’t from Microsoft, which doesn’t call people about problems they may be having with their Microsoft programs. 

More money has been stolen by thieves with phones than thieves with guns. Phone scams are everywhere. Here’s a warning from the government. There are some helpful tips here. 

I can’t say every call you get from security is a scam. I have received calls from my credit card companies, checking to see if a recent purchase was actually made by me.

I can say you should never give any personal information — not ID numbers, not Social Security, not your address — nothing. If they are legit, they already have that information.

Scams often increase around the holidays, so beware.

If unsure if the call is legit, hang up. You’ll be right 99% of the time. 

9 thoughts on ““Amazon Security” was just a scam”

  1. Amazon Security? That’s a new one! Of late, the two pestiferous scammers phoning my wife or me are from Social Security (in a heavy Indian accent telling me my SS account is going to be frozen unless I call them), and auto warranty companies trying to sell me an extended warranty (on a car I haven’t owned in three years). The so-called ‘do not call’ program by the US government should be renamed the ‘does not work’ program. For a lot of laughs, go online and seek out scam IRS calls where the scammers get scammed. Lots of laughs. Sadly, many old people fall for these disgusting tele-predators.

    1. I keep getting the extended warrantee also. I sometimes press 5 (or whatever) to reach the agent so I can give him an earful of really naughty language.

    2. Vince this morniing 11/25 I received a similar call from “Sociail Security” in a heavy Indian voice telling me there was fraudulent info on my card. He told me I was in legal trouble. I t old him he was scamming me. So far at 9:30 no cop came busting down my door. Sorry for your disapointment in “Do not call” programs.

    this blog is not a scam.
    Good timing ! Sorry to say, the old, the failing, the forgotten are very susceptible to phone scams. Worse, if there’s a knock on the door. These people – grifters – are very good at what they do. Sure, most are sporting a heavy accent. “Please help my church, or my dog, or my whatever. The good ones are better than the actual telemarketers that can sell a broken refrigerator to an Eskimo ! ( remember that one ? )
    The worst ones are POLITICIANS !

  3. Philadelphia, PA

    Dear Stu,

    Good advice.

    We are looking at a contemporary design defects in the internet-based telephone systems. The fake calls have become so frequent and their origin so obscure that it tends to render telephones an impediment to communication. Why should it be possible for the thieves to make calls, giveing numbers which are not in service?

    It doesn’t seem that the telephone service providers take the interest of honest paying customers to heart. The regulators, meanwhile, sit on their hands.

    H.G. Callaway

  4. Hello Stu,
    Great article and advice. I have been getting at least two calls a day even with the ‘good guy’ tech on my smart phone. Most of the calls are IP based and the legacy phone line companies have not invested in the technology to stop them. I hope you and your family have a great holiday.

  5. Get these types of calls virtually every day – gotta be on a very popular list somewhere. A few days ago, cell phone rang; when I looked at the screen the incoming call info said “Bangladesh”. Guess it was the “B-team”.

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