The Palm Beach Police Department has received information of fraudsters other than Amazon.com asking customers to pay using an Amazon gift card. Amazon does not solicit payments from anyone. How the scam works - the potential victim receives an email or phone call with an invoice for a product or products they did not order. There is a fraudulent customer service number for them to call on the invoice. The customer service number is not affiliated with Amazon Prime and the victim is then coaxed to purchase an Amazon gift card and to provide the gift card number as payment. Unfortunately, if you do, you’ll be out the money.
Amazon’s gift card terms don’t allow you to use Amazon gift cards to make payments anywhere other than Amazon.com. Buying an Amazon gift card to make a payment (for what or like what) is NOT the same as using Amazon Payments, which provides some protection for buyers. Amazon Payment is a feature that allows Amazon members to pay for merchandise on other websites by logging in and using a payment method they’ve stored on their Amazon account. You don’t have the same protections when you pay with a gift card.
Tips to Avoid Amazon Gift Card Scam:
- If you receive an email or phone call asking for your Amazon gift card or to purchase an Amazon gift card as payment, contact Amazon Customer Service to verify the legitimacy of the request.
- No legitimate sale or transaction will require you to pay specifically with gift cards.
- According to Amazon.com website, never use Amazon.com Gift Cards for payment outside of Amazon or its affiliated properties and never use gift cards for other retailers and brands outside of the intended brand. DO NOT provide any gift card details (such as the claim code) to someone you do not know or trust. Once a claim code, from any gift card, is provided to a scammer, the funds will likely be spent before you are able to contact law enforcement or Amazon. To view more tips from the Amazon website, please click here.
- Ask the customer service representative for a call back number other than the provided number. Fraudulent groups will not want to provide any contact information or will provide an inaccurate number.
- Document the call, the date, and time. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) maintains an online reporting system for telemarketing and other scams at https://www.ftc.gov/faq/consumer-protection/submit-consumer-complaint-ftc.
- Contact the Palm Beach Police Department 561-838-5454.