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Rocky River man out $120,000 in new Amazon scam

Police and Amazon warning people what to look out for
Updated: Jun. 7, 2021 at 10:41 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Local police, the Better Business Bureau, and Amazon warn people of a recent scam. An elderly man from Rocky River was scammed out of more than $100,000 after thinking he was getting help with his Amazon account.

“Amazon is being used a lot in scams right now. It’s a well-known brand name, and a lot of people order from them,” said Sue McConnell with Better Business Bureau.

McConnell says that’s a prime reason why scammers are taking advantage and claiming someone has access to the victim’s Amazon account.

“Telling you your account has been hacked and you have to do something, you have to tie your account to a bank account, you have to buy gift cards, you have to do something to overcome the hacker,” McConnell explained.

According to Rocky River Police, an elderly man reported being scammed out of more than $124,000 in May. He told police two men called him claiming to be from Amazon security and that someone had charged $900 to the man’s account. The scammers convinced him to connect his bank account to a new account.

Rocky River Police Chief George Lichman tells 19 News detectives are investigating, and the man’s bank is also looking into the incident.

“Do not provide any personal information. Amazon’s not going to ask you to tie your bank account to another account to protect your money,” warned McConnell.

Amazon says customers should always log in to their own account (in a clean browser, not through any links provided by the caller) to confirm if there has been any activity on their account.

Parma Police are now warning people of something similar, where scammers claim people owe money on their Amazon accounts. Police say dispatchers have also received bogus calls. Some of the calls are showing up as local numbers.

In a statement to 19 News, an Amazon spokesperson says people should stay vigilant and report any scams.

“Any customer that receives a questionable email, call, or text from a person impersonating an Amazon employee should report them to Amazon customer service. Amazon investigates these complaints and will take action if warranted.”

- Amazon spokesperson

Suspicious calls or emails from people impersonating Amazon employees can be submitted to: stop-spoofing@amazon.com.

To report these cams to the BBB Scam tracker, click here.

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