Council warns of potential scams involving Amazon accounts

9 December 2021

Cheshire West and Chester Council is making residents aware of potential scams involving the e-commerce giant Amazon, as they make their final purchases in the lead up to Christmas.

Amazon customers may have received a genuine email announcing that Visa credit cards will no longer be accepted as a payment method from 19 January 2022. Scammers could exploit this situation.

The Council’s Trading Standards team say a common scam technique uses emails, pretending to be from a well know online retailer, asking victims to change or update their payment details.

The Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategy Transport, Councillor Karen Shore said:

"Residents should be wary of any emails they receive asking them to update or change their payment details by following a link. Our team advises that rather than sending the updated details through the email as might be suggested, or by clicking on a link, or opening an attachment, people should make the changes directly on their Amazon account. These scam emails can look very similar to those used by the genuine companies, that many people could easily be fooled into responding to them.”

Additionally, phone calls supposedly from Amazon asking for personal details, financial information or to update payment details should be hung up on immediately.

This method of scamming victims is becoming increasingly popular by fraudsters, who impersonate brands like Amazon and other well-known online retailers.

Things to look out for:
  • Websites with no address or phone number may be an indication of sites to be wary of.
  • Securely connected websites are indicated with the ‘s’ in ‘https://’ - though secure pages still do not mean the retailer is entirely reputable.
  • Spelling errors or strange characters in a store's web address could signal a potential scam.
  • Paying with a debit or credit card is one of the safest ways to pay online.
Visa debit cards will still be accepted by Amazon.
More information regarding Trading Standards is on the Council’s website.

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