Amazon shares security tips after it took down 20,000 fake websites last year

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After taking down thousands of phishing websites, and tipping off the police on hundreds of threat actors, Amazon shared three key tips that can help both businesses and consumers stay safe online.

In a newsletter sent out earlier this week, Amazon said that it took down more than 20,000 phishing websites and more than 10,000 phone numbers that were used as part of identity theft scams. 

It also referred “hundreds” of bad actors to the police, and used all of that experience to come up with three key tips to help spot and avoid these scams.

Be careful installing apps or software: As per the newsletter, threat actors would often ask their victims to install an app or download software in order to receive a refund or get help from customer service. This is not the usual practice and most companies would not ask their customers to do these things. Therefore, if someone claiming to be a customer service representative asks something along these lines, users should view this as a major red flag.

Never pay over the phone: Another alarm bell is the “customer service representative” asking the victim to provide payment information, including gift cards (or, as they sometimes call them – “verification cards”), for products and services over the phone. This is not how customer service works.

Finally, users should always verify their orders directly with Amazon: Companies will not call, text, or email their customers about any orders they’re not expecting. Even if they did call, text, or email, these messages wouldn’t carry any sense of urgency with them. 

Therefore, if someone claiming to be a representative of a company demands “urgent” action, users can always head over to Amazon.co.uk or the Amazon Shopping app to double-check their orders.

The best defense against online scams is common sense – if something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. 

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