/ Money

Scam call warning: Amazon Prime ‘renewal’

An automated scam call is impersonating Amazon Prime, telling victims their subscription will be ‘renewed’ for £39.99. Here’s what you need to watch out for.

We’ve been made aware of an automated scam phone call designed to trick Amazon Prime customers into connecting with a fraudulent ‘account manager’.

It’s similar in tactics to the ‘Visa fraud department‘ call, which also instructs victims to ‘press 1’ to be connected.

From here, it’s highly likely scammers will attempt to extort bank details and/or personal data from you.

Update: 19/11/2020

More than a year since we first published this warning, and despite our efforts so far to see action taken, we know that the Amazon Prime scam call is still happening.

We’re also aware that the call is continuing in the run up to Black Friday (27 November), therefore we’re renewing our call on Which? Conversation to be wary as scammers look to take advantage.

Which? recently published further evidence of similar remote access scams that have the potential to wipe out a victim’s life savings, including Amazon Prime impersonators who stole £6,900 from a woman in her 60s.

We’re now calling on the government to introduce legislation to ensure a new statutory code of practice can be created, which would include clear standards and protections for victims.

Update: 18/03/2020

Thank you to the 17,000+ people who filled out our survey on this dangerous Amazon Prime scam call – the data we’ve collected will be vital in taking action against it.

What’s next? We’ll now be taking your responses to the phone companies and Amazon itself to demonstrate just how widespread this scam call is, and how it’s impacting on people’s lives.

We’ll then work with them to implement appropriate action, including warnings, potential call-blocking and reporting these calls to the relevant authorities.

This page will be updated as soon as we have more information. Thank you for your support.

Update: 13/02/2020

This Amazon Prime scam call has been frequently posing a threat to the public for too long. We want to see action taken against it from the phone providers and Amazon.

You can help us stamp this out by answering the following questions:

The Which? Amazon Prime scam call survey is now closed

We’ll then use your responses to prove just how widespread this problem is and which providers are the most affected.

Amazon Prime scam: what to expect (16/10/2019)

To find out exactly what you need to watch out for, I spoke with Craig, a member of the public who received the call on his landline earlier this month.

He was told by an automated voice that this was a ‘reminder’, and that his Prime account was being renewed at a cost of £39.99.

It went on to tell him that he should ‘press 1’ to speak with an ‘account manager’.

Craig is indeed an Amazon Prime customer, however he’s never associated his home number with his Prime account. This would suggest that the scam is targeting members of the public at random, rather than Prime customers directly.

How to deal with phone scams

If you’ve received this call, hang up immediately. Amazon will never contact you in this way, and the call being completely unsolicited should also set off alarm bells.

You can read our full guide to phone scams here, and also report this scam to Action Fraud using its online reporting tool.

If you do think you may have given sensitive information to scammers, contact your bank straight away and let them know what’s happened.

You can also find out everything you need to know about getting your money back after a scam in our guide.

I made Amazon aware of this scam call after speaking with Craig. An Amazon spokesperson told me:

“We take phishing and spoofing attempts on our customers seriously, and will never call a customer for payment outside of our website. If a customer has concerns or receives a call they believe is not from Amazon, they can check the Amazon.co.uk help pages for guidance”

Have you received this Amazon Prime scam call? If so, did you think it was genuine?

Whether you’re an Amazon Prime customer or not, do help us get the word out by warning friends and family about these calls, and let us know if you’ve received anything similar in the comments below.

kal Kamboh says:
16 February 2021

received a call this morning with renewal charge 79£ on my work phone (amazon do not have this number)

Alan Murray says:
16 February 2021

I’ve had 3 of these Amazon Prime scam calls recently. I press 1 to speak to their accounts department and then invite them to go forth and multiply. Is that a fair or wise thing to do??

The scam call came 5 minutes after I cancelled my prime membership – how did they know????

Got a similar call from a mobile number – Hung up…BLOCKED!

Debbie says:
17 February 2021

I’m in Ireland and just received a call this at 14.20 with renewal charge 79€ on my land line (Amazon do not have this number) I hung up immediately …….

Schmoogle says:
18 February 2021

I have had a few of these but lately the tactic has changed. Instead of reminding me about Prime membership, the message tells me that I have suspiciously spent £1300 on an iphone 11. I connected to it for the giggles and a woman with a heavy Indian accent was immediately telling me that I had tried to fraudulently buy a phone and asking if I am by my computer. When I told her that I was looking at my Amazon account right now she stumbled and was clueless when I asked her my name. I just put the phone to one side and continued watching anime and could hear her in the background desperately calling out “hello, hello, hello???” for about 5 minutes until she gave up.

I have had several calls recently on my ex-directory number which show up on caller display as a mobile no. and “international” call. Each time there is an automated message saying £79.99 has been taken from my account to renew my Amazon Prime membership and asking me to press 1 if I wish to cancel the payment. Yesterday a friend was complaining of several calls to her mobile number during the last few days telling her exactly the same thing.

Sara Brown says:
19 February 2021

I’ve had 3 in the last few weeks in Ireland. I knew it was a scam as I renewed in Dec the normal way!

Paul Tarry says:
19 February 2021

I’ve had two calls today from 02085498959 an automated call from ‘Amazon’?! (Yeah, right?!!!) telling me that under order number AMZX?????? there has been a purchased item for £1049 and to press 1 etc. I hung up and reported it to Amazon CS.

Received two automated Amazon Prime Account Renewal call this morning (09:46hrs). Put the receiver down and dialled 1471. Call came from 0707 256 3270. I do not hold an Amazon Prime Account.

I have just received a live phone call claiming to be from Amazon. The caller told me that they were about to renew my Amazon Prime for seventy-nine point nine-nine pounds. I told him that I was happy for my Amazon Prime to continue as it was (I don’t have Amazon Prime), but he wanted to offer me a 50% discount. He tried to convince me that I ought to take up the fantastic discount offer and I continued to insist that I was happy with what I had. I’m not sure whether the seventy-nine point nine-nine is an annual charge or monthly – he seemed a bit unsure. Eventually, he hung up.
I have a suspicion that some of these people are penalised if they hang up – so I hang on until the line is cleared

SarahL says:
23 February 2021

I received a call this morning with renewal charge £79.9 GBP at home, as far as I was aware, Amazon only had my mobile number.

Robert says:
23 February 2021

07958004003 is the number they called us on

i have recieved a number of calls saying amazon are going to take 79 pound 99pence out of my account to cancel this press 1on my phone to cancel then another voice told me bring up my account on my computor i did this and the phone went dead i’m 79years of age and this as being going on for 3weeks and is really upsetting my wife and i

Hi Frank, sorry to hear this.

Unfortunately, there is currently no easy advance way of telling the difference between an important unsolicited calls and nuisance calls, if both originate from unfamiliar numbers.

But it is possible to send all calls from unfamiliar numbers into call screening.

One way of doing that is to get a call blocker, for example a BT Call Guardian handset as sold by Argos and others.

Some phone companies can also provide a similar subscription service, for example BT Call Minder with Call Protect.

Using these options typically requires you to set up a list of trusted know numbers, sometimes known as your VIP list. Call screening can then handle other numbers.