Amazon raffle scams via SMS are swarming people's inboxes. The company tagged, along with the message, is now attempting to combat the scheme. Thus, it sued several individuals in federal court in hopes to unmask the 50 bad actors.
You read it right: You didn't win from an Amazon raffle that you don't even remember joining in the first place.
If you haven't received the text scam, The Verge shared a sample. The message reads: "Amazon: Congratulations Sean, you came in 2nd in March's Amazon pods raffle!"
At the end of the pseudo-prompt, it will ask users to click a link that leads to a website that bears the Amazon logo. The website has a similar design that's colored blue and yellow -- the logo hues of the company.
The said webpage will congratulate the victim and ask the user to answer a meaningless survey. According to The Verge, the survey will then lead you to buy seemingly discounted products that, ironically, aren't even from the said e-commerce website.
Amazon is trying to shut down similar illegal schemes in its legal case filed in the Western District of Washington. The move, according to the company, is an effort to protect its users from fraudulent schemes.
Kathy Sheehan, Vice President for Business Conduct and Ethics, said via Business Wire that: "Amazon works hard to build a great, trusted experience for our customers and sellers. These bad actors are misusing our brand to deceive the public and we will hold them accountable."
Sheehan also reminded consumers to stay vigilant in shopping online.
Moreover, the Better Business Bureau said it received a substantial 771 reports of scams impersonating Amazon in 2020 alone.
Amazon impersonations, in addition, ranked second to the most frequent scam reported. Reigning on the top is the Social Security Administration. Netflix is also one of the most clone brands for scams.
Amazon vs. Marketing Scams
The Seattle-based company has, in the past, filed five lawsuits against individuals illegally profiting from people, Business Wire reports.
In June 2020, Amazon said, in a press release, that it had shut down three email scams in Michigan, Colorado, and California.
Just recently, in March 2021, the Federal Trade Commission permanently banned four companies offering fake work-from-home opportunities that falsely used Amazon's name, the company said in a separate statement.
Other Amazon-Impersonator Scams
The popular and menacing Amazon AirPods raffle scam is after your account and financial data. It is a similar congratulatory text message that will ask you to sign in to a phishing website that claims to be the said company.
On the other hand, WhatsApp even warned its users to stay away from Amazon scams. Aside from SMS, the bad actors also used the messaging app to congratulate victims for winning a Huawei Mate 40 Pro 5G. It is said to be in celebration of the website's 30th anniversary.
Although, the e-commerce website and the China-based company didn't even announce that they were collaborating.
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Written by Teejay Boris