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Fife woman loses £80,000 in Amazon Prime phone scam

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A Fife woman has been conned out of an £80,000 after falling victim to a hacker-backed bogus caller.

The woman, who is understood to be from central Fife, fell foul of an elaborate hoax last month after taking a telephone call from someone pretending to be from the online retail giant Amazon.

The conman said the woman’s Amazon Prime account had been hacked and managed to persuade her to move money into a different account, which was emptied by hackers working remotely.

The case has prompted police to warn about the existence of such scams and promote wariness of cold callers in general.

A Police Scotland spokesperson confirmed it had received a report of a phone scam that had resulted in the victim losing £80,000.

A spokesperson said: “The victim was phoned by a male, who claimed to be from Amazon.

“He informed the victim that her Amazon Prime account had been hacked before instructing her to make numerous money transfers to a different account, which was thereafter hacked into by the fraudsters.

“Can we please remind everyone never to fall for a scam like this. Hang up on cold callers and contact companies direct if in doubt.”

According to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB), 571 reports of Amazon Prime-related computer software service fraud, such as spoofing and phishing, were received between October 1 2019 and January 16 2020.

Such scams have seen fraudsters steal an estimated £1 million from victims.

Earlier this year, police in Glasgow confirmed they were supporting a man who had lost £65,000 through a similar hoax call.

A spokesperson for Amazon said: “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.”

Amazon said: “Customers should never provide personal or financial information to unsolicited callers, or ask them to take any actions on their Amazon account.

“Customers can also report fraudulent activity to Citizens Advice or Action Fraud.”

In the guide on security and privacy, Amazon UK explains fraudsters may impersonate the company to access information.

The online retailer also says “from time to time” a person may receive emails purporting to come from Amazon.co.uk which have not come from an Amazon.co.uk account.

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