BBB Warning: You got lucky and won a raffle from Amazon!? Watch out; it’s another scam
Milwaukee, Wis. – The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is alerting the public to a con where scammers are again impersonating Amazon.com, this time through a text scam that claims you’ve won a raffle for a fitness watch, earbuds, or another tech gadget.
How the scam works
A congratulatory text message comes to your phone saying that you have won Airpods, an Apple Watch or some other enticing prize from Amazon, a BBB Accredited Business. Several reports to BBB Scam Tracker mention text messages coming from the numbers (714) 883 – 6385 and (714) 507 – 5880, but there are many other numbers being used. The text message also includes instructions to click a suspicious link to arrange delivery of the item.
According to Amazon, any customer who receives a questionable email, text or call from a person impersonating Amazon or an Amazon employee should report them to Amazon customer service. Amazon investigates these complaints and will take action if warranted. You can submit suspicious information to email@example.com. Amazon also offers a page to help identify if an email, text, or phone call is really from Amazon.
In 2020, BBB received 771 reports of scams impersonating Amazon; it was the second most-impostored brand (after the Social Security Administration) based on consumer reports to BBB Scam Tracker. However, scammers are also sending similar texts impersonating other popular brands like Netflix, where they ask for your password, username, or payment method. Regardless of who they pretend to be, consumers should not reply or click on the link.
How to avoid text scams:
- Don’t believe every text you receive. As a general rule, companies cannot send you text messages unless you opt in to receive them. If you receive a text message from a company you have not given permission to contact you in this way, proceed with caution. In fact, any unsolicited text message should be considered a potential scam.
- Know the classic signs of a text scam. In most cases, the text message includes an unusual link and may promise a reward, threaten a punishment, or generally appear harmless because it seems to be coming from an individual or organization you recognize.
- Think before you click. Do not click on links in strange or suspicious text messages. This is likely an attempt to gain access to your personal information or install malware on your device.
- Confirm the information. If an offer seems strange, or too good to be true, contact the company directly by looking up their official contact information online. Call or email customer service to find out if the text message you received is legitimate.
- Ignore instructions to text “STOP” or “NO”. Even if you realize the message is a scam, do not text back for any reason. Scammers may want you to text back to verify that your phone number is an active one. Instead, simply block the number so you won’t receive messages from it in the future.
- Double down on security. In the event the text message was not sent to you randomly, it’s always a good practice to periodically update and strengthen the login credentials for your shopping or financial accounts. If you clicked on the link, do a security sweep for viruses or any malicious software on your device.
- Report any encounters with a scam. Share your scam experiences to help warn and protect others at BBB Scam Tracker.
For more information or further inquiries, contact the Wisconsin BBB at www.bbb.org/wisconsin, 414-847-6000 or 1-800-273-1002. Consumers also can find more information about how to protect themselves from scams by following the Wisconsin BBB on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, the Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2020, people turned to BBB more than 220 million times for BBB Business Profiles on 6.2 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at BBB.org. There are local, independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico, including BBB Serving Wisconsin which was founded in 1939 and serves the state of Wisconsin.