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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
Karen B says:
8 October 2020

We’ve had about 4 calls today alone and about 3 yesterday so I would guess that neither Amazon nor BT have got on top of this. It seems to be on the hour every hour. I keep blocking the calls but it is always a different number. You would have thought the software could at least be programmed to recognise that if somebody doesn’t fall for the scam the first time, they certainly aren’t going to fall for after the 6th.

Herbie says:
14 October 2020

I just received this call, I knew I’d renewed my Prime back in June so luckily I was immediately suspicious and hung up on the call.

Mohana Ryan says:
9 October 2020

I received the $39.99 renewal call from a lady who was telling me I needed to go online to cancel my accidentally triggered PRIME prescription and then renew it back to the original cost. As soon as I saw the website she directed me to I called her out. Told her it was a scam and hung up on her

Shell K says:
9 October 2020

I have received 3 of these calls so far today all from a different number, both mobile and landline.

A A M says:
12 October 2020

I have been receiving these at about once a week, but today they called like 3 times already and is not even lunchtime!. This is terrible, I just moved back to the UK after living overseas for 5 yeras and am shocked at the amount of phishing and scams that we get on a daily basis.

A A M says:
12 October 2020

I want to add- they are all from different numbers, including mobile phones.

starvinmartin says:
12 October 2020

Hi, also had two, make that three – phone rang while I was typing this – calls this morning, first two from ‘Amazon Prime’ on different numbers, third from an ‘international’ number which turned out to be from London (I’m in the UK!) , all within the space of an hour.
Really getting quite distracting.

Starvinmartin says:
12 October 2020

Eight more since posting above, all from different numbers

I’ve had 2 today & 4 yesterday – it’s a real nuisance. The number is a Romanian one and has been the same number for each of the calls for the last 2 days. 00 40 746 372 3186

Susan Howard says:
12 October 2020

I have had 3 calls re Amazon Prime. It’s really getting on my nerves now. Can’t anything be done to stop them and prosecute ?

Hi Susan

If you want, you can use a BT Call Guardian phone to screen out these calls see:-https://shop.bt.com/guides/ideas-inspirations/how-to-block-all-nuisance-calls

Prosecutions are much harder, because the scammers are not in the UK.

Also, the likes of BT are currently unable or unwilling to block these calls at the telephone exchange.

Michelle says:
16 October 2020

Hi Derek,

That link isn’t exactly useful – they call me on my mobile, buying a phone from BT for my landline wont stop these calls in any way.

Hi Michelle – There’s some advice on dealing with blocking nuisance calls on a mobile if you scroll down this page: https://www.which.co.uk/reviews/cordless-phones/article/how-to-block-nuisance-calls-aHkHz1m7wCes#headline_blocking-calls-on-your-smartphone If you can say which operating system you have, Derek may be able to offer some advice but nuisance callers choose to annoy me on my landline phone.

Thanks wavechange

As that article shows, modern smartphones can easily block calls from unknown numbers without the need to buy any extras.

On my Android phone, these options are accessed via Settings… Sounds… Do Not Disturb… and Allow Interruptions…

I might have to explore call blocking on mobiles myself, Derek. In the past ten years I had only received about four nuisance recalls on my mobile but in the past month I can add three scam calls. 🙁

5 calls today, 3 yesterday, 5/6 on two days last week. First one today was at 08.10 and the next at 9.17.

1471 numbers are either supposed overseas, mobile or a UK area code – all spoofed of course

Saranne Smith says:
13 October 2020

I’ve received 2 calls regarding this scam this morning on the office phone. When I informed them that I didn’t have an Amazon account they just put the phone down – how rude 🙂

Nicola Bloor says:
13 October 2020

I have received 5 calls today first one 8.30 this morning – blocked them but they use different No’s – i asked on one why had did i keep receiving these calls – the woman just hung up, they are so annoying and are getting on my nerves.

Sue Brymer says:
13 October 2020

I received an automated call today – 1st call on our London landline 30 minutes after our phone had been reconnected by a BT engineer after 9 days – asking me to click on 1 to be connected to an Amazon Prime manager, and again once there, to click on 1 again. I finally got a human in a very noisy room who just called out ‘Hello!’. That sounded weird. When he asked me my name I realised I was being phished, and said to him ‘I’ll do it online’ and hung up. I heard him go ‘Yeah, yeah!’

I get called by these scum conmen and women most days – I just have fun with them. Waste their time, play along – really its very entertaining when you get into it. And the more of their time you can waste, the less people they are scamming

I have had numerous calls claiming to be from Amazon and the auto renewal of my account. The number comes from a UK phone number 01409 703766 but goes to an international call centre.

If someone attempts a robbery and the police find out whilst the robbery is in progress, the site is filled with armed police.
In this day and age, there should be a similar process with these scam telephone calls.
A first step would be to ban withheld calls and to ban fraudulent calling numbers used to make them. It is ridiculous that the telephone system can be abused like this. Again, criminals leaving a robbery site using the highway can be perused by armed police. A telephone equivalent should be available to the police.
If other countries won’t take similar measures, then the UK should refuse all calls from them until they do.

K Law# says:
15 October 2020

We have had numerous calls supposedly from Amazon Prime over the past months, although almost no scam calls at all during the height of lockdown! They all come from different numbers, usually cloned from UK area codes.
Today’s call was even more sinister. I did not want to listen to the automated voice right to the end, so I put the receive down (traditional landline). I tried to get the dialling tone so I could dial 1471 to get the number, but they were still on the line. In fact the speech started again. When it came to the end it automatically diverted to a person who answered ‘Amazon Prime’. So they know that many people now know not to press ‘1’ and have introduced something to get round this.

I am getting sick of this, using multiple different numbers including from Australia. All the mobile numbers don’t work when calling. I have just spoken to one of them and when I told him he was trying to scam money out of me (because my Amazon prime account is not due for renewal next year) he had the audacity to rebuke me for it and claimed to give me his employee number so I can complain.

Tony Hadland says:
16 October 2020

My wife is being driven mad by these calls. Almost every morning at about 08:00, day after day. Every time from a different fake number, sometimes even an Australian one. My wife doesn’t even have an Amazon Prime account. The lack of action by Amazon, the telecoms companies and the government is disgraceful.

Joe. says:
16 October 2020

I just received this scam call, and this thread suggests this has been happening for over a year now, more than likely thousands of people have feel victim to these scammers.

Which begs the question, with all the snooping powers granted to the CIA and NSA and GCHQ security agencies, why cant they catch and shut down these scammers?

And what exactly have Amazon done to protect its customers, when I first heard the automated service, my first instinct was im cancelling my Amazon account and wont use their services again if this is legit, so its definitely going to impact Amazon custom financially if they cant be trusted to protect our Data their collecting.

The practice of selling data to third parties is the cause of the majority of scams, because frauds and crooks set up business fronts in order to acquire your data.

Ha Ha.
This morning had a call asking me for £79, must be because of inflation the price has gone up.

John Russell says:
16 October 2020

JUst had the same one for £79

Michelle says:
16 October 2020

I get these calls about once every other day, sometimes much more frequently. It’s been going on for ages, and there all from different numbers so blocking the number doesn’t help. At least I knew it was a scam the first time I had it, I guess.

J Cumbor says:
16 October 2020

I had a call from Amazon Prime a month ago saying they had billed me £79 in December by mistake and wanted to pay me back . I was taken in
But when they asked me if I do online
Banking I said no
They put phone down.i have just been called again this afternoon
Woman’s automated voice saying same thing only this time it was £49 I put the phone down. This ph nbr was 07901 110788
Why isn’t this being
Sorted ??