Washoe County Sheriff’s Office issues Amazon scam warning

The Washoe County Sheriff's Office is warning of a scam where the fraudster claims to be a...
The Washoe County Sheriff's Office is warning of a scam where the fraudster claims to be a representative from Amazon.(Washoe County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Apr. 13, 2021 at 12:48 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Think twice if you get a phone call, text or email from someone claiming to be from Amazon who says you have fraudulent shopping activity on your account.

The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office said multiple victims have reported a scam in our area, where they were told to purchase one or more gift cards at area big box stores, and then provide the gift card numbers to the scammer who provided a number to call.

Four cases alone resulted in a financial loss to the victims in the amount of $17,099, the sheriff’s office said.

In another case, the scammer told the victim that he could track where the fraudulent Amazon shopping was coming from by following the victim’s Venmo activity. All the victim had to do was send two “test” Venmo transactions to a person known to the victim. That known third-party was to then send the money back to the victim. When the victim’s friend initiated an “instant transfer” the money was never returned to the original bank account.

Amazon said it will never call you to ask you to purchase gift cards to unlock your account or ask you to provide sensitive personal information like your social security number, tax ID, bank account number, credit card information, or Amazon account related information like your mother’s maiden name or your password.

The sheriff’s office reminds you that if you pay someone with a gift card or give the pin information to a scammer, it is unlikely you will get the money back.

If you believe you have been the victim of a similar scam, call the non-emergency dispatch line at (775) 785-WCSO.

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