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Fraudsters target Amazon users in latest campaign

28 July 2017 - 08:30 by Paul Tissington

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A fresh attempt to trick consumers out of their payment card information has been highlighted this week after customers of e-commerce firm Amazon were contacted by conmen using Twitter, according to the Metro.

A bogus customer services account was set up and harnessed to send direct messages to many people, initially requesting that they provide an email address associated with their account to get assistance. This was followed by requests for full credit card details, including home addresses, which was seen as extremely suspicious by vigilant social media users.

The scammers were clever enough to piggyback on Amazon’s legitimate customer services account by responding to people who had messaged it publically on Twitter, meaning that it had a higher likelihood of being perceived as genuine.

A number of factors made the phoney account seem less plausible to tech-savvy customers, including its non-standard Twitter handle and the fact that it had not received the all-important ‘verified’ status, denoted by a blue tick.

If a Twitter account is verified then it is a guaranteed sign that it is officially operated by the individual or organisation it claims to represent. All companies that offer safe shopping online and use Twitter should already have been through the verification process to give customers confidence when contacting them.

The good news is that this fake account, called ‘AmazonHelps2’, was quickly detected and swiftly suspended by Twitter’s administrative staff once users began reporting the odd phishing messages they had been receiving.

This is another great example of why all internet users need to be made aware of the various avenues by which scammers can operate in the modern age. Even when making a complaint or getting in touch with a retailer that offers safe shopping online, it pays to be vigilant.