If you receive an email from Amazon or another large company asking you to resolve payment or shipping details, beware, it may be a scam.
Here’s what you need to know:
The email subject line might read something like this;
“We’re sorry, but we can’t complete your order until we confirm your information. Please confirm your order details by clicking the link below.”
The link takes you to a site that looks realistic and asks for your name, address, password, and ultimately your credit card number. This is when the scammer gets everything needed to use or sell your personal info for a small fortune.
Once you have entered the information, the “submit link” will usually send you to an actual Amazon site so you won’t get suspicious.
How can you protect yourself?
First of all, emails are too easy to spoof and hijack. Since you cannot easily tell a real one from a fake one, whenever you get a notice from a seller site, just go straight to the seller’s site itself (not from a link — type in their website address manually), bypassing links in any email you get from a merchant. Places like Amazon leave you alerts on your account when there is an issue. This method doesn’t just help keep your account secure; it also gives you a chance to check on other orders to make sure all is well with them.
If you receive a suspect message, go to Amazon to review your messages for the supposed alert and there’s nothing there—then reach around and pat yourself on the back for avoiding a nasty scam. Go back to the email and report the abuse. You just foiled a phishing scheme.
Since this is a pretty common method, Amazon probably isn’t the only merchant name you’ll see in these scams. Use the same method for each one and you’ll have a better chance at avoiding some of the most common phishing schemes.