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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.


Comments
Michael says:
29 September 2020

I had two of the same calls on my landline this morning firstly from 01857640250 and then again on 01214173332. The first call I put down, the second however I thought I would see how far it would go!
An automated call told me that my Prime subscription was up for renewal for “79 point 99 pounds” and said if I wanted to cancel or continue, press 1 to speak to an Amazon representative.
Knowing that Amazon do not telephone people about their subscriptions, I thought I would like to hear what this so called Amazon representative was going to say. On pressing 1 another automated message told me I was being transferred. Next I was transferred to a very bad line speaking with a woman with what sounded like an Indian accent. She asked if I wanted to cancel or continue with my subscription. I told her it would be automatically re-subscribed on the due date as usual and asked why I was being called. She ignored this and immediately asked if I had a computer nearby, I said that I didn’t, to which she asked if I had a mobile phone. Knowing that she was going to ask me to download a control app, I got bored and just told her to just stop and admit she was trying to scam me and that she should be ashamed of herself, trying to steal money from innocent people. At this point as expected the line went dead.
I don’t know how these calls can be stopped, I always bar the number on my phone, but they just call back on yet a different number.

Michael thanks for your detailed account.

As these scams use faked caller display numbers, their incoming calls can only be blocked by systems set to block calls from unknown numbers.

Thank you Derek,

Sadly, that is not an option I can take.

Thankfully, I have enough knowledge gleaned from sites like this and of course a little common sense (currently anyway!), to know these scammer’s tricks. I am just glad that I have met some wonderful people during my life, or else my faith in humanity would have left me some time in the 1970s. I can never understand Mankind’s inhumanity to Mankind, let alone what they are doing to this planet, all because of selfish greed.

Martin Purslow says:
30 September 2020

Just had the same scam call on my mobile – strangely no number registered as called – i am not even a Amazon Prime member – so obvious scam – how did they get my mobile and Amazon need to tighten up their security as the leak is there

Hi Martin, these scammers often trade in phone numbers for victims and potential victims.

Sometimes I think they just try randomly made up numbers and see which ones are answered, but they can also acquire numbers from data breaches (e.g. see:-https://hostreviews.co.uk/biggest-uk-data-breaches/ and:-https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_data_breaches) or via phishing attacks.

I also doubt that these calls are necessarily anything to do with data breaches on Amazon’s part.

Also, for those of us who are in the phonebook, our landline numbers are readily obtainable, along with our names and adressses.

There are also websites that list every conceivable UK phone number.

It’s also possible that the numbers called are generated automatically, which enables calls to ex-directory phone numbers.

Tony Stretton says:
30 September 2020

Called today from 01704514560 asking me to press 1 to sort out payment for Amazon Prime.
I do not have an Amazon Prime account.

Denise Susan CLARKE says:
30 September 2020

I had a call today, also with people with Indian-sounding accents. The number that appeared on caller id was 07590205480.
We have had some automated messages about a £39.99 charge that will automatically be taken, and I have hung up / ignored them thinking they were mistakes.
I told them I felt they were behaving like scammers, and it seemed to put the wind up them, this was after being passed from the initial caller to another and then another, each one with a slightly better command of English.

The first one (I think) said that this was an additional charge to the normal ‘Prime’ for security, and that it would automatically be taken if I didn’t cancel it today. I asked for the last 4 digits of the card they plan to charge and she couldn’t supply that – I didn’t understand her explanation. I also asked if she had sent details of the change / proposed charge to our Amazon account / email, and she said they weren’t able to do that.

She then passed me to someone else who advised that the charge was an alternative to the monthly prime charge. I pointed out that if the charge was instead of a monthly charge, it may be attractive, but equally they should provide some info about it to customers. He then directed me to a computer and asked me to use Chrome – I challenged this and said surely it didn’t matter what browser I used! He asked which browser I was using, and I said I would not do anything until he explained what he planned to ask me to do next, as he was sounding like a scammer! He then passed me to someone else, who said this was a courtesy call, that the monthly Prime charge was only for video, and they were discussing a £39.99 pcm charge for prime delivery etc.. I exclaimed that that was certainly NOT attractive, and he then started consulting in the background in a language I couldn’t follow. I felt more than ever that this was a scam, so I hung up.

My partner has the prime account, and they knew his surname. Our number is ex-directory, and what I didn’t know, but my partner has since advised me is that Amazon don’t have our home number, only his mobile, so confirmed my worst fears.

Hi Denise, if the scammers knew your ex-director number and partner’s surname, he may have been involved in a data breach.

One way of checking for known data breaches is to use this site:-https://haveibeenpwned.com/

That checks whether of not given email addresses have been involved and gives some notes on other data (e.g. names, addresses and phone numbers) that may have also been taken in those breaches.

I got a call today for this scam, and pressed 1 as requested to cancel the automatic payment. (I’d had a problem with Prime earlier this year when I had unknowingly signed up to it when buying something but they’d cancelled it online immediately when I contacted them. I just wondered if they’d put it through again, so…) An Asian-sounding woman answered immediately, said she’d arrange the refund, and I was to go to my computer and type in the address she gave me. It put me through to a site where you download a programme which allows your “friend” full access to your computer! Press the download button she said. I told her goodbye and cut the call immediately. Some refund, eh?

I had this scam call advising me that my Amazon Prime would be renewed for 79.99 – displayed number was 01806 411515

Marco says:
2 October 2020

Hi, thanks for your very informative website – I am in Australia and just had an identical experience to those discussed here. My son did access Amazon Prime 6 months ago for their free trial, so I was very suspicious with an automated call saying my credit card would be charged $99. I called Amazon Prime and they said they didn’t have any subscriptions or credit card details for myself. I’ll still check my credit card in the next few weeks to see if any charges pop up.

Bianca says:
2 October 2020

I just had the same thing happen to me. A call to my landline regarding my Amazon subscription which I dont have. From an Indian call centre. I was passed to several people also. They wanted to know if I was using a computer
or phone and what brand, which in its self sounded weird . I was instructed to download an app zoho customer so I could unsubscribe to Amazon and stop any payments being taken. I played along until they hung up on me.

CYPRIAN says:
2 October 2020

I told tell them I live in the UK and have no interest in the river Amazon as I do not live in South America which baffles them.

Paul Weston says:
6 October 2020

Had a call this morning, the guy was claiming to be from Amazon Prime and needed to speak to me about my subscription. He was having difficulty speaking the Queens English which in itself led me to believe the call was not genuine, although having checked on this site I can now feel relieved that I did not respond to his requests. I asked if I could get my wife to call him back later with any details he required, unfortunately he said Amazon do not take calls from customers he would have to call back later (I look forward to the call, as I like to keep these people on the phone as long as possible as whilst they are wasting their time with me they are not stealing off anyone else)). The number displayed was 07402 847965.

Dewi says:
6 October 2020

Got this call 5 minutes ago. Automated call. Says I had renewed Prime and charged 79 point 99. Recognized it as a scam straight away.

June says:
6 October 2020

I received 5 calls within an hour, all different nos, on Oct 3rd and again yesterday. I put the phone down as I was sure it was a scam, but it’s really annoying. I now check the no and let it go to answer phone.

Jane Easterman says:
6 October 2020

I’ve had 3 calls from them alone today, starting at 9am. It’s driving me mad, and they are always from different numbers. It’s got more annoying in these days of working from home, at least if I were at work I wouldn’t be bothered by them. I’ve blocked today’s numbers and see what happens tomorrow!

MR GEORGE R MEIKLE says:
6 October 2020

I recieved a call telling me my prime was due for renewal my renewal date is December was this a scam.

Toby says:
6 October 2020

I believe it was a scam. I have never received a call from Amazon about renewal of Prime. I received an Amazon email telling me they were going to auto renew my subscription in a few days. I contacted them and got a discount to renew.

Pimpernel says:
6 October 2020

I think these scammers should be tracked down and hit! By that I mean wiped out, made to disappear, for good! They ruin so many lives; good people’s hard work destroyed, ruined, bankrupted, after a lifetime scrimping and saving for their old age, just so that some callous greedy work shy foreign thieves can scam them into handing it over. Seriously they should be under a death sentence for what they do. No trial, just tracked and wiped out. Sadly as most come from abroad and the most corrupt officials are being bought off, it proliferates. Its like the trade in Ivory and Rhino horn. I’d do the same to poachers who are wiping out herds of majestic Elephant and Rhino for Chinese millionaires to put their great ivory tusks in glass cases for pure reasons of vanity; or Rhino horn for medicine – which is ludicrous as we can cure just about anything these days with conventional medicine. The poachers should be strung up from trees and left to the Lions. Soon the message would get round. But no. Nothing happens to them making it worth their risk. Only when its isn’t worth it and the consequences are terminal will poachers start to die out! I know this sounds extreme, but it needs to be extreme to deter. With scammers and poachers, nothing else works!

Pam Melding says:
7 October 2020

Similar experiences to other comments. Multiple automated calls – automated voice telling me my Prime membership is being renewed. I always hang up and block the number but they keep popping up using a different telephone number each time so it is hard to stop them. Sometimes there are several calls a day.

mrs kathleen moultrie says:
7 October 2020

hi just had a call telling me id orderd i phone on amazon prime for 300.00 to press 1 if not then a man who knew my first nam insisted id orderd this item i told him ov never purchased a phone and am not nor do i want ever to be amonzon prime subscriber he put phone down well i had captured his number i tried ringing it but could not be put through . as this is so worrying thought id let you know .im oap 74 widow . but this is not the first time ihad this iv had hmrc scam call and iv checked on prime even on their own site it says im not a member but i still get these calls i feel like ripping the phone off the wall as im on telephone preferance list but it does no good .

Terry says:
8 October 2020

I have had three calls to my landline this morning alone. All recorded messages claiming to be from Amazon Prime. Numbers 01243592737, 0155147228 and 01134380630. I do not have, and never have had, an Amazon Prime account so normally I just hang up but the last time I let the message continue to see what would happen. The message repeated three times then an operator cut in as if I had pressed 1. I DID NOT PRESS 1. It looks as if they have set up a default to get you in contact anyway.

A Merryweather-Clarke says:
8 October 2020

I just had this call this morning, put the phone down as I don’t have Prime. When I mentioned it to my husband later, he said we’ve had this call before. Your last update was posted over 6 months ago, and it looks like it began a year ago.

John B says:
8 October 2020

I’ve just received a call (01332 607477) which wasn’t an automated one. The request was to renew Prime membership for £39.99.
I asked for their phone number and the line went dead!!
Contacted by Bank who are already aware of the scam.