SMITHFIELD – An elderly Johnston County woman is one of the latest victims of a telephone scam. The 72 year-old Smithfield woman said she received a call at her home from someone pretending to be with the Amazon.com customer service department
The caller claimed the victim’s Amazon account had been hacked and a large number of iPads had been purchased and shipped to Texas. Plus an additional $9,000 had been charged to her account. They claimed it was her responsibility to pay for the items.
The scammer claimed they could assist the victim into settling the charges if she would obtain $2,600 in gift cards then provide the card numbers to the caller. The victim did as requested. The following day she realized she had been defrauded and notified law enforcement.
A firm that monitors scammers and robocalls estimates Americans receive between 100 and 150 million robocalls per month from scammers who claim they are with Amazon. The frequency of the calls impersonating Amazon.com has increased significantly this year.
Amazon says a few departments may make a call to a customer but their employees will never ask for your personal information, offer you a refund you don’t expect, or ask for payment using gift cards. If you get a call from someone claiming to be with Amazon, the Better Business Bureau says most likely it is fraudulent.
You are encouraged to report the calls to the Federal Trade Commission.