Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, scammers around the world viewed it as an opportunity to fleece unsuspecting people.
The latest email scam arrived in my inbox the other morning.
I’m sharing it with you in case you haven’t seen it yet, along with a couple easy ways to protect yourself from these opportunistic scum.
The email arrived with an innocuous enough subject line.
Subject: Your Amazon.com order #112-0225977-5553024
Like many of us, I order things from Amazon regularly, so an email from Amazon is not out of the ordinary.
The first and most obvious clue, for me, is I do not order from Amazon.com, but it’s Canadian counterpart, Amazon.ca. That set off the first warning bell.
The email warns me my order has not yet been shipped because of an incomplete billing profile, along with a request to log in to my Amazon account to “provide correct billing/card details” to avoid any further service disruptions.
This is my second and louder warning bell.
Amazon’s system does not permit you to complete an order without these details, which means they would never send you a request for your credit card information.
The third warning bell came when I held my mouse cursor over the “Login With Amazon” button.
It does not link to Amazon.com. In my case, the email links to
http:// corporosit .temp .swtest .ru / AMZ/
I’ve added the spaces so you can’t inadvertently click on the link.
Here’s a screen shot of the entire email.
What To Do If You Receive This Email Scam
First and most important, if you receive this scam email in your inbox, DO NOT CLICK any link it contains.
Second, forward the entire message to email@example.com and let them deal with it.
Third, delete the email.
Amazon Will Respond Automatically
Amazon takes email scams seriously, and in an automated return email they offer some great advice. Follow it and you will be fine, even if you mistakenly clicked on one of those scam links and inadvertently gave them your information.
Thank you for writing to Amazon.ca to bring this to our attention.
Your message has been forwarded to our security department, and we will investigate the situation. Please note that you may not receive a personal response.
In all likelihood, the message you received was not sent to you by Amazon.ca. We strongly advise that you *not* send any information about yourself back to this individual (especially your credit card number or any personal information)
If you have already submitted any personal information to this person via e-mail or on a potentially fraudulent web site, you may wish to contact Customer Service for assistance. To send an e-mail to Customer Service, please visit https://www.amazon.ca/gp/help/customer/contact-us
In the future, if you are ever uncertain of the validity of an e-mail, even from us, don’t click on any supplied links–instead, type our web site address “https://www.amazon.ca” directly into your browser and follow the regular links to Your Account. Many unscrupulous spoofers mislead consumers by displaying one URL while taking the visitor to another.
By typing in a well-known address, you can avoid this trick.
Also, please be assured that Amazon.ca is not in the business of selling customer information. Many spammers and spoofers use programs that randomly generate e-mail addresses, in the hope that some percentage of these randomly-generated addresses will actually exist.
If you are trying to contact us about something other than a spoofed e-mail message, please contact Customer Service for assistance. To send an e-mail to Customer Service, please visit https://www.amazon.ca/gp/help/customer/contact-us
If you encounter any other uses of the Amazon.ca name that you think may be fraudulent, please do not hesitate to contact us again.
Thank you again for taking the time to notify us of this situation.