The scam, which was first reported on by the police in October 2019, involves victims receiving an automated call, informing them that they have been charged for an Amazon Prime subscription.
They are subsequently instructed to ‘press 1’ to cancel the transaction. When they do this, they are directed to a fraudster posing as an Amazon customer service representative.
The fraudster advises the victim that the subscription was purchased fraudulently and that remote access to their computer is required in order to fix a security flaw that will prevent it from reoccurring.
The victim is asked to download a remote access application, often the ‘Team Viewer’ app, which grants the fraudster access to the victim’s computer.
The Team Viewer software is then misused by the criminal to capture sensitive personal and financial information from the victim’s computer.
Other variants of the crime involve fraudsters stating that the recipient is eligible for a refund for an unauthorised transaction on their Amazon account.
WHAT TO DO
- Always question uninvited approaches in case it’s a scam. Instead, contact the company directly using a known email or phone number.
- Have the confidence to refuse unusual requests for personal or financial information. It’s easy to feel embarrassed when faced with unexpected or complex conversations. But it’s okay to stop the discussion if you do not feel in control of it.
- Never install any software or visit a website as a result of a cold call. Unsolicited requests for remote access to your computer should always raise a red flag.