Wednesday 19 May 2021

Day 429 of self-isolation - The Amazon Prime scam

The Amazon Prime scam

First, let me make it clear that this doesn't come from Amazon. It's scammers using their name

It starts off with a phone call (a robot call) telling me that I'm signed up to Amazon Prime for a year, and if I want to cancel and get my £79.99 back, I should press 1.

This is plausible, because Amazon make it very easy to mistakenly sign up for Prime. I've had to cancel it twice, and cancelling isn't easy.

So then they talked me through downloading and installing AnyDesk, a product that allows other people to take over and use your computer. So, at that point, I invented the fiction that the computer was in a different room from the phone, which gave them the reason why it took a minute or two between each thing they told me to do, and me telling them I've done it.

Why? Because while they're wasting time talking to me, they aren't scamming someone else.

So we went through that three times; each time the software wouldn't run (I lied), before the guy I was talking to passed me on to guy-2. Guy-2 talked me through installing Awesun, another remote access enabler. Same problem. Won't install.

I feel no compunction in lying to people who are lying to me in order to scam me.

At that point, they gave up on the attempts to install software, and concentrated on getting money. And I was transferred to guy-3. They asked me for my bank details. So I gave them a made-up credit card number. I guess they tried to bill it, because they said it didn't work. So I gave them the number again. It didn't work again. So they asked me to give them the number slowly, so I gave it to them one digit at a time. It still didn't work.

I offered to call my bank. They thought that wasn't necessary, and could I give them my bank details from a recent statement. I left them hanging for several minutes, pretending to look for a statement, which I "couldn't find", and then offered them another credit card number, which they accepted.

So I made up another non-existent number. Same problem. And then they asked a very strange question, "Why do you want to cancel your Amazon account?" This would be normal if they really were Amazon, but this is just someone trying to get money out of me. So, naturally, I answered, "Yes, you're right, Amazon Prime is a pretty good service, and £79.99 is a good value for a whole year's access. Maybe I should keep it?"

And they hung up on me. I think I wasted about an hour of their time, maybe more.

So now I have this fictitious Amazon Prime account, bought with one of two non-existent credit cards.

I should have asked them if they could add Netflix.


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