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Internet scams and phishing

We know that you try to protect yourself from fraud on the internet. The information that follows is designed to help you identify and avoid internet scams and phishing attempts.

Be wary of internet scams

  • Payment requests for Amazon.com Gift Card claim codes — Do not provide an Amazon.com Gift Card claim code by phone, text, or email as a form of payment to a third-party merchant. Amazon Payments will not send you an invoice asking you to pay by Amazon.com Gift Cards. Amazon.com Gift Cards entered into your Amazon.com account cannot be used when making purchases with Amazon Payments on third-party websites. To learn more, see Common Gift Card Scams.
  • Payments that are made off the merchant site — Do not complete any payment for a purchase that directs you away from the merchant site.
  • Payments to guarantee the transaction — Do not share Amazon.com Gift Card claim codes or send money — by cash, wire transfer, Western Union, PayPal, MoneyGram or other means, including by Amazon Payments — to a merchant who claims that Amazon or Amazon Payments will guarantee the transaction, refund your funds if you are not satisfied with the purchase, or hold your funds in escrow.
  • Payments to receive a large amount of money — Do not make a payment to claim lottery or prize winnings, or on a promise of receiving a large amount of money.
  • Payments to guarantee a credit card or loan — Do not make a payment because you are "guaranteed" a credit card or loan.
  • Offers that seem too good to be true — Do not respond to an internet ad or phone offer for an item that is priced far below market value and that the seller claims a need to sell quickly.
  • Payments to someone whose identity you can't confirm — Do not make a payment to someone you don't know or whose identity you can't verify.

When in doubt, ask the intended recipient for more information about the purpose and safety of the requested payment. Do not send the payment until you are comfortable with the transaction.

Identifying phishing or spoofed emails

From time to time you might receive emails that look like they come from Amazon Payments, but they are falsified. These emails might direct you to a website that looks similar to the Amazon Payments website. You might even be asked to provide account information like your email address and password combination.

These false websites can steal your sensitive login or payment information, which is then used to commit fraud. Some phishing messages contain potential viruses or malware that can detect passwords or sensitive data. We recommend that you install an anti-virus program and keep it updated at all times.

Here are some key points related to fraudulent emails:

  1. Know what Amazon Payments will not ask you to provide in an email
    Amazon Payments might sometimes need to ask you for important information, but you will always be directed to provide this information through the Amazon Payments website.
    You should not provide personal information like the following in an email:
    • Your full or partial social security number or tax identification number
    • Your date of birth
    • Your credit card number, PIN, or credit card security code (including "updates" to any of the above)
  2. Be wary of attachments in suspicious emails
    We recommend that you do not open any email attachments from suspicious or unknown sources. Email attachments can contain viruses that can infect your computer when the attachment is opened or accessed. If you receive a suspicious email purportedly sent from Amazon Payments and that email contains an attachment, we recommend that you delete the email — do not open the attachment.
  3. Look for grammatical or typographical errors
    Be on the lookout for poor grammar or typographical errors. Some phishing emails are translated from other languages or are sent without being proofread and, as a result, contain bad grammar or typographical errors.
  4. Check the return address
    Is the email from Amazon Payments? While phishers can send forged email to make it look like it came from Amazon Payments, you can sometimes determine whether or not it's authentic by checking the return address. If the "from" line of the email looks like "amazon-security@hotmail.com" or "amazon-fraud@msn.com" or contains the name of another internet service provider, you can be sure it is a fraudulent email.
  5. Check the website address:
    Genuine Amazon Payments websites are always hosted on one of the following domains:
    • https://payments.amazon.com
    • https://resolutioncenter.payments.amazon.com
    • https://authorize.payments.amazon.com

    Sometimes the link included in spoofed emails looks like a genuine Amazon Payments address. You can check where it actually points to by pointing to the link; the actual website to which it points will be shown in the status bar at the bottom of your browser window or as a pop-up.

    We never use a web address hosted on a domain other than the ones listed above. For example, variant domains such as "http://security-payments-amazon.com/..." or an IP address (string of numbers) followed by directories such as "http://123.456.789.123/payments.amazon.com/..." are not valid Amazon Payments websites.

    Alternately, sometimes the spoofed email is set up so that you are taken to the fraudulent website if you click any of the text. Amazon.com never sends an email that does this. If you accidentally click such an email and go to a spoofed website, do not enter any information. Instead, just close that browser window.

  6. If an email looks suspicious, go directly to the Amazon Payments website
    When in doubt, do not click the link included in an email. Go directly to https://payments.amazon.com, and then sign in to your Amazon Payments Account to view recent purchases or to review your account information. If you cannot access your account or if you see anything suspicious, let us know right away. You can contact us from the Amazon Payments website.
  7. Protect your account information
    If you did click through from a spoofed or suspicious email and you entered your Amazon Payments account information, you should immediately update your Amazon.com password. Here's how:
    1. Go directly to http://www.amazon.com, and then click Your Account.
    2. On the next page, click the Change Account Settings link.
    3. If you submitted your credit card number to the site linked to from the forged email message, we advise that you take steps to protect your information.
      You might want to contact your credit card company, for example, to notify them of this matter.
    4. Delete that credit card from your Amazon Payments account to prevent anyone from improperly regaining access to your account.

Reporting phishing emails

If you have received an email that you know is a forgery, or if you think you have been a victim of a phishing attack and you are concerned about your Amazon.com account, please let us know right away by reporting a phishing or spoofed email.