My US phone rang and a recording came on.

The lady asserted it was "Amazon" calling and they had "detected suspicious activity on my account". I was supposed to "press 1" to speak to "Amazon security."

  • Is this just some scam
  • Should you press 1?
  • What should you do when this happens?
  • 2
    Guys, no need to vote it down, I'm trying to make a canonical Q about the latest scam going around.
    – Fattie
    Feb 9, 2021 at 16:21

3 Answers 3


It's a scam. I get the same voicemail -- and I have never had an Amazon account.

Do not press 1, do not say "yes." Just hang up.

If you have any doubt as to whether it's a real call, log in to your Amazon account and contact Amazon customer service. (Link obtained by searching "contact amazon" from amazon.com)

  • I don't know anything about this particular scam. But I endorse the last paragraph. I can't think of a comparable phone call, but I often get emails claiming to be from some company I've done business with and telling me to call a number given in the email. When I do, I always look up the company's customer service number on their web site or on my last bill or on the back of my credit card or some such. If the numbers are the same, okay, probably legitimate. If not, I call the customer service number and not the number from the email. ...
    – Jay
    Feb 8, 2021 at 22:43
  • 1
    ... And if I get an email telling me to click on a link and log in, no way. If the email sounds otherwise plausible, I go to the address I already have for the web site.
    – Jay
    Feb 8, 2021 at 22:44
  • @Jay: The amusing part is that I mostly get such emails or phone calls from companies I've never done business with. (Or more accurately, scammers pretending to be those companies.) Almost as good as the ones saying my car's warranty is about to expire. Considering they range in age from 18 to 33 years, I should hope so!
    – jamesqf
    Feb 9, 2021 at 4:10
  • 1
    @jamesqf Yes. I got one recently saying there was a problem with my account at Bank of America, and I've never had an account at Bank of America. I get a lot supposedly from Amazon. My guess is the scammers try big companies because that maximizes the chance that you might actually have an account with that company. They're going to use "Bank of America" and not "Podunk Auto Mechanics Credit Union".
    – Jay
    Feb 9, 2021 at 14:22

It’s a scam. Amazon knows how to contact you and if there is any need, they can put things for you to read on their website. For a similar thing I called my banks actual security number and their message was quite clearly: “We will never call you on your phone”. What they do: Send you a text message “did you purchase this item at xxxx for £yyyy” and ask you to press “yes” or “no”.

I got half a dozen messages about an iPad that was supposedly ordered on Amazon from my account. I did press 1. I got through to someone, and I could here that the scammer was sitting in a room with other scammers making the same call; I could hear them talking. Amazon must have a real problem with people ordering iPads by mistake.

Rule: Amazon would have your name. If they don’t have your name, they are not Amazon. Amazon has your Amazon account number. If they don’t have your account number, they are not Amazon. Amazon doesn’t need your bank details for anything. If they ask for your bank details, they are not Amazon.

PS. My wife watched "Loose Women" on UK TV this morning, and they talked about scams, and one woman admitted to giving out her PIN number. She was lucky, lost only £1,000. Now the rules are: 1. Your bank will never in a million years ask for your PIN number. 2. Your bank doesn't need your PIN number. Whatever they might want to do with your account, they can do without the PIN. 3. Think about it: If you forget your PIN, is all the money in your account gone? Of course not. The bank can give you a new PIN. 4. If "your bank" tells you to move your money into a new account that they created for you to keep it safe - if they were your bank, they could do that without you. Or they can just block your account and it is 100% safe.

PPS. Since my last post I estimate that I purchased about 25 iPads and 30 expensive iPhones from Amazon. I'm lucky and unlucky: They never charged me for any, but they also never delivered anything :-)

  • 2
    Yes, good point. If I get a call or text or email from some company I have an account with, but the person doesn't know my name before they called, it's a scam. If they know nothing at all about you except the email address or phone number they used to contact you, it's a scam. My favorite: I got an email telling me that someone had brought a lawsuit against me and I should open the attached file for the details. The first thing that made me suspicious was that the return address was just "County Court House" -- no name of the county, just "county". And the email did not include my name ...
    – Jay
    Feb 9, 2021 at 4:23
  • 4
    ... address, or any other information about me. Oh, and there was also the fact that the return address on the email was "sugardaddiesgalore.com". I'm not sure what the email address of my local county courthouse is, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say that it's probably not "sugardaddiesgalore.com".
    – Jay
    Feb 9, 2021 at 4:24
  • In the UK: “You were recently involved in an accident”. “So who am I and what accident?”
    – gnasher729
    Feb 9, 2021 at 9:12
  • 3
    @gnasher729 - I got one of these. Or rather several. One time I acted gullible and said "You mean the crash I was in?". The woman said "Yes! I believe you were injured?" I said "Yes! My leg!" She asked "You hurt your leg? There is compensation coming for that!". I said "Actually it was both legs! Clean off!". She (a bit doubtful): "Both legs?" Me: "Yes, and both arms! And my head! In fact I'm dead!" Her: "<click>". Feb 9, 2021 at 13:53
  • 2
    I got one once that said it was from "Amazone" -- with an "e". That was slightly suspicious.
    – Jay
    Feb 9, 2021 at 14:18

Yes, it's a scam. Specifically, a refund / overpayment scam.

The gist is that supposedly, a fraudulent order of an expensive item has been made on your Amazon account, but don't worry, you will be getting the money back. You will be instructed to give them access to your computer using a remote access tool, although they will call it "logging into our secure refund server".

You will also be asked to log into your online bank, so you can later verify that you have received the money. This is also done so that the scammer can assess how much money they can scam out of you. The scammer will black out your screen so they can quickly edit the html to make it look like you have received your money back, but they won't show it to you at this stage, because of what's about to happen next.

The scammer will now open up a simple command window that is supposed to be the "secure refund server" but is of course just typed into by the scammer. They will instruct you to enter the amount of the refund, to which they will quickly add a couple of zeroes, making it look like you did something wrong.

Now the scammer is in tears. You didn't receive $300, you've received $30000! They will ask you to check your online banking (of which they edited the html to fake having received the money). Their job is on the line because of your mistake! Please, will you send the extra money back to them? But not as a simple transfer, no, you're instructed to withdraw cash from your bank or to buy Amazon giftcards, then ship them (to what likely is a money mule).
Since they know banks are aware of this type of scam, they will even instruct you what to say, that you're buying giftcards for your grandchildren, or that you're withdrawing cash as a loan to your grandchild who wants to start their own beautysalon. They also have elaborate instructions on how to send it to avoid detection, such as using a thick book and putting in bills every couple of pages.

Another refund method is buying gift cards and not sending them, but just reading off the numbers so they can cash them in online. Whatever method is used, it's set up to be irreversible and as untraceable as possible.

If you want to see this play out in real life, there are several YouTube channels such as KitBoga and Rinoa Poison that try to engage these scammers and keep them occupied as long as possible to waste their time, and other channels such as ScammerPayback and Scam Baiter that try to actively harm and disrupt the scammer's operations. Of course, they do so well prepared, using a computer running a virtual machine, so that scammers can do no harm whatsoever; scammers have been known (as can be seen in some of the videos) to lash out and try to cripple their victims' computers by removing crucial files.


There never was a fraudulent order on your Amazon account, there never will be an actual refund to your bank account, and you will be out any money that you'll send them.


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