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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

  • DO NOT send money—by cash, wire transfer, Western Union, PayPal, MoneyGram or other means, including by Amazon Payments—to a seller 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.
  • DO NOT make a payment to claim lottery or prize winnings, or on a promise of receiving a large amount of money.
  • DO NOT make a payment because you are "guaranteed" a credit card or loan.
  • DO NOT respond to an Internet or phone offer that you aren't sure is honest.
  • 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 may receive emails that look like they come from Amazon Payments, but they are falsified. These emails may direct you to a website that looks similar to the Amazon Payments website; you might even be asked to provide account information such as 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 to protect yourself from fraudulent emails:

  1. Know what Amazon Payments won't ask you to provide in an email

    Amazon Payments may at times 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 such as 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 which 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 hovering your mouse over 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 such that if you click anywhere on the text you are taken to the fraudulent website. Amazon.com will never send an email that does this. If you accidentally click on 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 log on 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 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. You can do this by going directly to http://www.amazon.com and clicking Your Account. On the next page, click the Change your name, email address, or password link.

    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. Finally, you should delete that credit card from your Amazon Payments account to prevent anyone from improperly regaining access to your account.

Reporting Phishing Email

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.