Amazon Prime Scam Nets Over £1m

Nowadays there’s more than one way to watch your favourite or up and coming TV show.

Streaming services like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, More4 and Amazon Prime, to name a few entice viewers in with the prospect of new programmes covering a range of genres.

However, with this new method of watching entertainment, cyber criminals have adapted to dupe unsuspecting victims out of cash to line their own pockets.

Action Fraud has now revealed that the ‘Amazon Prime’ scam has cost over £1m, with one victim in his 60s being duped for more than £65,000.

Between 1st October 2019 and 16th January 2020, the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) identified 571 reports of Amazon Prime-related Computer Software Service Fraud.

Police Forces up and down the country are now issuing warnings to the people they serve and protect, warning them of this scam.

How does the scam work?

The scam, begins with an automated phone call, informing the victim that they have been charged for an Amazon Prime subscription.

The phone call instructs the victim to ‘press 1’ to cancel their transaction and speak to an ‘Amazon customer adviser’. This advisor, is in actual fact a criminal, who is now ready to pounce.

The ‘adviser’ informs the victim that their subscription has been purchased fraudulently, and to prevent it happening again, the ‘adviser’ needs to access the victim’s computer to fix a security flaw.

The victim is then asked to turn their computer on and download an app called ‘Team Viewer’. This app enables the cyber criminal to access the victim’s computer, and monitor when the victim logs into their online bank account.

Once the criminal has the victim’s personal financial information, they can then access the account and transfer funds to themselves.

Other variants of this crime involve fraudsters informing people they’re eligible for a refund following an authorised transaction on their Amazon account.

How can I protect myself and my firm from a similar scam?

It’s vital to remember that if anyone asks you to install software on your computer you say no. If someone states they need this, this should raise a red flag. You should then end the call.

Don’t be embarrassed to refuse requests for personal information if they don’t seem right to you. It’s better to be safe than sorry.