Elaborate scam conned Durham man out of nearly $1,000 with fake Amazon Fire Stick activation process

Diane Wilson Image
Thursday, July 15, 2021
Durham man scammed out of $1K while trying to activate Fire Stick
"I thought I was on Amazon.com. I was not on Amazon.com. I was on their website they created that looks like Amazon."

You need to watch out for scammers impersonating Amazon tech support to get your money.

It happened to Durham resident Phil Boring when he was trying to activate a new Amazon Fire Stick.

He said it happened after he saw an activation message on his TV screen on how to activate the Fire Stick.

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"So I tried to get it on Amazon.com/code, and it wouldn't work. I tried several times and then I finally put in Google 'Amazon.com' and then I entered 'code,' and then something came up, not knowing then, I thought I was on Amazon.com. I was not on Amazon.com. I was on their website they created that looks like Amazon," Boring said.

Phil followed the prompts given on the website and called the number given to him.

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"He immediately started off with, 'oh yeah, we can we can fix that for you, no problem, but, you know, somebody has tried to hack into your account.'"

Boring says he was told someone hacked into his account and opened an Amazon credit card in his name. The representative Boring was talking to assured him they could fix it and make sure there were no fraudulent charges.

Boring gave who he thought was Amazon access to his computer to fix the issue, but they did more than fix the supposed issue.

"They somehow or another got my username to my bank account information," he said.

Then, without Boring knowing, the scammers transferred nearly $1,000 from Boring's bank account to theirs through a third-party payment app.

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"Once it's gone, you can't get it back," he said.

Boring eventually realized it was scammers he was talking to and hung up. Amazon does have a warning about this scam, and copycat websites that appear to help with tech support. You can even report suspicious websites or emails that claim to be Amazon.

On its website, Amazon states suspicious webpages not from Amazon.com may contain links to websites that look like Amazon.com, but aren't Amazon. The company states legitimate Amazon websites have a dot before "amazon.com" such as http://"something".amazon.com. For example, Amazon Pay website is https://pay.amazon.com/.

As for Boring, he says he now knows better and just got caught off guard. He eventually got his Fire Stick activated, plus the bank refunded him the nearly $1,000 the scammers took.