Police: Be wary of Amazon, tech support scams
July 21, 2010
The Craig Police Department is warning local residents about fraud schemes that have cropped up in recent weeks.
"New fraud schemes pop up daily and many are intended to steal your identity and your money," police reported in a news release.
The scams, according to the police department's news release, are as follows:
• Amazon.com scam: Millions of consumers now use amazon.com to purchase everything from books to cookware, so it's no surprise scammers have latched onto the online retailer as a tool in phishing schemes.
The Better Business Bureau reported that it has received reports of emails appearing to come from amazon.com customer service with the subject line, "Thank you for your order." The message has the amazon.com logo and looks legitimate in other ways, at least on the surface.
The email lists an order number, total price and a link to view the order.
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Someone receiving the message who had not ordered anything might click the link to see what he or she has mistakenly been charged for. Someone who had ordered something from Amazon might click the link because the price and item description is wrong.
Anyone who clicks on the link would be sent to a fake site, where an attempt would be made to steal personal information. It goes without saying that anyone receiving one of these bogus emails should forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Amazon reported that it never asks for Social Security numbers, tax identification numbers or other personal information as part of its transactions.
The company also reported that it never asks customers to confirm account information by clicking on an email link.
• Tech support scam: A tricky phone solicitor poses as "Microsoft tech support," and can turn one's computer into a spam-sending machine, and the victim might be charged for it. The scam is one of many attempts to obtain personal information or hack computers.
The caller claims to be from Microsoft and that your computer operating system had errors in it that he could help correct. The scam has surfaced across North America, in the United Kingdom and Australia.
The caller pretends to be tech support from a computer company, but the instructions he walks people through actually installs new software that gives him remote access to the computer, so he can use it to send spam or access people's personal information.
If you haven't called for tech support, hang up.
For more information on these or other possible scams, call Sgt. John Forgay at the Craig Police Department at 826-2366.