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MARKETANALYST.US / ECONOMY & WORK

Here are Major Names in Tech & E-Commerce That Scammers Frequently Use as Bait

“These people are ruthless. They will destroy a person financially,” said Steve, who lost $80,000 by falling for a scam impersonating PayPal.
PUBLISHED JUN 4, 2024
Cover Image Source: Scammers are impersonating big brands to rob victims (representative image) | Photo by Kampus Production | Pexels
Cover Image Source: Scammers are impersonating big brands to rob victims (representative image) | Photo by Kampus Production | Pexels

Known names such as Amazon, PayPal and Best Buy also come with a credibility in the digital ecosystem which convinces unsuspecting victims to trust any online communication or claim. The result of this is that at least $660 million was stolen by con artists posing as representatives of large corporations last year. “These people are ruthless. They will destroy a person financially,” said Steve, a scam victim who didn’t want to use his last name while he shared his story last fall to warn others. An email from PayPal reached him, which contained an actual invoice with fictitious iPhone charges on it. Despite knowing it was a phony, he felt compelled to notify the corporation in accordance with morality. He assumed he was calling customer service, so he trusted them. “They said I had a bad charge and they would take care of it. Blah, blah, blah, and unfortunately, I fell for it,” he added, describing how he lost $80,000.

Image Source: Photo by Nathan Cowley | Pexels
Scam victim (representative image) Photo by Nathan Cowley | Pexels

Best Buy is the brand name that scammers most frequently utilize, according to an FTC investigation. There is a fake email circulating that appears to be from Best Buy's Geek Squad with a logo that appears authentic. It says your bank account has been charged and your subscription has been renewed and tells you to call a phone number if you do not want this. However, that number does not belong to the actual Best Buy.

This is too well known to Dennis and Joy Shockey, who lost more than $170,000 to cunning con artists. Dennis Shockey's computer screen went black and a tech help pop-up appeared. "I called the number because I had never seen this before," Shockley remarked. He believed he was speaking with a Microsoft agent and the call led to a month-long con that concluded with Shockey transferring his life savings to another account.

The FTC recommends you never shift your money at someone else's request for safekeeping to protect yourself. Avoid clicking on links in shady texts or emails. If you receive an unexpected request from a company, speak with a trusted person and conduct your independent investigation.

Image Source: Photo by Karolina Grabowska | Pexels
Stay safe against online scams (representative image) | Photo by Karolina Grabowska | Pexels

Many of the firms that have been frequently used by scammers now have information on their websites to help inform customers about scams.

Image Source: Photo by Karolina Grabowska | Pexels
Image Source: Photo by Karolina Grabowska | Pexels

Federal authorities have uncovered a significant refund scam using the Artemis Refund Group (ARG), resulting in millions of dollars being lost by major online retailers such as Walmart and Amazon. ARG enlisted frequent customers to purchase products, ask for refunds, and frequently be granted the option to keep or resell the goods. They even enlisted insiders including Walmart employees to make their hoax look more authentic. ARG documented every action they took, with Amazon losing more than $700,000 and other businesses losing millions.

This scam demonstrates significant flaws in e-commerce platforms, resulting in substantial cash losses and issues for delivery drivers handling package loss or damage claims. The scam's widespread nature is clear from its presence on online platforms like Reddit and Telegram where people share tips on how to commit these frauds.

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