WASHINGTON — Scam artists can be clever when trying to steal consumers’ personal identities. Among the many scams out there is an email that looks like an order confirmation from Amazon.
The bogus email asks to confirm an Amazon order and includes a clickable bar that reads: “View or Manage Your Order.”
Consumers seeing an order that they did not place could be easily fooled and begin clicking through the process in order to cancel the purchase. But the email asks for the person’s Amazon account number; keying it in will make you the latest victim of identity theft.
“Scam artists send consumers emails that either have a link to a website or a link to a form which basically solicits personal identifying information,” says Steve Toporoff, an attorney with the Federal Trade Commission’s Division of Piracy and Identify Protection.
The FTC says scammers always seem to be trying something new and different to steal people’s identities or personal account numbers, and consumers must be cautious when they receive unsolicited emails.
“Don’t trust emails that come to your attention, even if it looks like it’s from a company that you routinely do business with,” Toporoff says.
Toporoff says typical scam emails trying to steal identity ask for personal information to verify or update an account about to expire or indicate that the recipient won a prize.
“If you get an email that’s asking for any kind of personal information, basically ignore it,” Toporoff advises.
But what about a legitimate business request for information from a consumer?
“If you think your account expired, or you do need to provide some information to the company, call the company directly,” Toporoff says.