Our grocery shopping has gone digital, we rarely need to go out of the house to buy the newest gadgets, and well of lucrative offers never seem to go dry — it’s safe to say that Amazon has well and truly transformed the way we live. Unfortunately, the amount of attention Amazon has drawn also makes it an easy target for imposters and scammers. Even though a majority of the audience is well aware of the fraudsters that lurk in the shadows, there is always bound to some unfortunate soul who doesn’t think about the consequences of putting down their financial details.
Today, we will get you acquainted with a new Amazon scam on the block, and hopefully, help you sniff out the scammers before they make their move.
What is Amazon Airpods Raffle Scam?
As the name suggests, the ‘Amazon Airpods Raffle Scam’ involves offering you one of the most lucrative pieces of tech in the market and stealing your sensitive account information. If you’re an admirer of the Apple Airpods, the congratulatory message — announcing that you have won a pair of Airpods through a raffle — is bound to have you wondering about the exciting unboxing experience.
Unfortunately, if you fall prey to the prospect of winning the much-revered set of wireless earphones, the scammers would very easily lure you to a shady site and snatch all your account credentials before you understand what’s going on.
Scam alert: I just got a text from “Amazon” saying I “came in 2nd in their Airpod raffle.” What will they send me, half an airpod? /s pic.twitter.com/PxYUbB8s2I
— Grace Lapointe (@glapointewriter) March 7, 2021
How does Amazon Airpods Raffle Scam work
As you have already seen, the scammers achieve their target by luring you in with a fake text message, impersonating Amazon. Usually, these texts tell you that you have won the Airpods, and Amazon needs to verify your identity to dispatch the order. The said credentials are “verified” through a link that you’d find attached with the text. Clicking on it would land you on the main website where the actual theft of identity takes place.
Depending on the scammer, you may have to enter your name, number, address, Amazon username, password, bank account details, and more. If you make the mistake of following the instructions on the website, the security of most of your accounts would be compromised.
How to identify scammers
Fortunately, identifying Amazon scammers in 2021 isn’t too big of a deal. All you have to do is keep your eyes peeled and look for the signs. The first sign you must look out for has to be the sender ID. If Amazon decides to give you a pair of Airpods, it will not only send you a text from one of its official channels — not a private number — but you’ll also get an email with all the details.
Also, Amazon will never ask for sensitive information from its customers, including account passwords, bank account details, and more.
Since Amazon also has your address, they will not give you a clean form and ask you to fill it. Additionally, if you never throw your ring in the hat, you’re never going to win something as valuable as a pair of Airpods out of the blue. If you don’t remember entering the contest, chances are it’s a blatant phishing attempt. Finally, the link you’d get in your text — and the site it’d lead to — would also be the farthest thing from a legitimate Amazon website.
So, when you get a text that checks all of the aforementioned boxes, do not hesitate to brand it as a scammy text and discard its lucrative offerings.
What to do when you get a ‘phishy’ text?
Once you successfully identify a “phishy” text, the next course of action becomes a lot more straightforward. You have to follow a couple of steps to ensure that the message you’ve received is dealt with safely.
Since you’ll be getting the text from a private number, there could be a strong compulsion to revert back to the number and let them have a piece of your mind. While we cannot blame you for letting it rip, we must warn you about the consequences such action may draw.
By replying to a spam text, you’re practically letting the sender know that your number is active and can be targeted again in the future. So, the best course of action, in that case, is to either ignore and delete the text message or contact authorities to take action against the sender.
What is Amazon doing to fight the impersonators?
Amazon is one of the most impersonated organizations for scams, in the world. Its diverse and dense customer base attracts many scammers, and they end up getting what they came for in one way or the other. Since they are impersonating Amazon, all of it ultimately has a bad effect on the e-commerce giant’s image.
So, to show that they care and want to fight the scammers in the best possible way, Amazon has introduced an email ID that’d allow you to report the scammers to Amazon right away.
All you have to do is take a screenshot of the text, put down some contact ID and send the email to the ID mentioned above. It’s that simple.
Other impersonators you should be aware of
As mentioned in the previous section, Amazon is a hot favorite for impersonators. Unfortunately for all consumers, Amazon isn’t the only one that’s being framed. Other big brands, such as Netflix, Apple, and more are also being shamelessly impersonated. They ask you for your address, confidential financial details, and your username and passwords to particular services. Thankfully, since all scammers practically follow the same blueprint, you can evade their traps successfully if you follow the basic signs we discussed above and refrain from replying back to them through text or email.