Bradford woman falls victim to Amazon phone scam

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The South Simcoe Police Service reminds residents that no legitimate business will request payment in gift cards.

The South Simcoe Police Service wants to make the public aware of recent frauds reported to us involving fake Amazon and Microsoft employees.

In one occurrence, a Bradford woman received a phone call from a fake Amazon employee saying there was fraudulent activity on her Amazon account. The caller said she could correct the fraudulent activity by filling out a link they would send to her.

The victim provided her email address and a link was sent to her which she filled out with her personal information. When the form was complete the caller advised the woman they made an error and refunded her an incorrect amount of over $10,000.

The victim was told this could be corrected if she sent the caller several thousand dollars in Google Play gift cards to avoid being taxed on the incorrect amount. The victim followed the caller’s direction and sent the Google Play gift cards. Shortly after, she realized this was a fraudulent call.

The following is the second occurrence reported to us recently involving a scam with bogus Microsoft employees.

An Innisfil man reported that a message popped up on his computer with a realistic Microsoft logo saying his computer had a virus. A phone number was provided for him to call to get it fixed. The man called the number and spoke to a fake Microsoft employee who told him it would cost several hundred dollars to correct the problem. The victim agreed to the price and the fraudster said since his computer wasn’t working, he would need to purchase multiple Google Play gift cards. The victim complied and provided the serial numbers to the suspect. The suspect then said the increments were too small and that they would refund his bank account the cash he already spent but he would need to go purchase more gift cards in a higher value. At this point, the man realized he was being scammed and stopped communication with the suspect.

Both of these victims lost money.

The South Simcoe Police Service wants to remind residents to always verify the source of a call, text or email that you did not originate. If you are contacted by a supposed company employee, pause, independently obtain contact information and call or email to confirm the correspondence you received is legitimate. Do not click on a link, pop-up or provide personal information.

Remember no legitimate business or government agency will request payment in gift cards. We want to thank these citizens for reporting the frauds in an effort to warn others.

From Microsoft: If a pop-up or error message appears with a phone number, don’t call the number. Error and warning messages from Microsoft never include a phone number. Microsoft does not send unsolicited email messages or make unsolicited phone calls to request personal or financial information, or to provide technical support to fix your computer. If you didn’t ask us to, we won’t call you to offer support. Microsoft will never ask that you pay for support in the form of cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, or gift cards.

From Amazon:  Amazon will never send you an unsolicited message that asks you to provide sensitive personal information like your social insurance number, tax ID, bank account number, credit card information, ID questions like your mother’s maiden name or your password.  Amazon will never ask you to make a payment outside of our website and will never ask you for remote access to your device.

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website is a great resource for fraud identification and prevention.

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