Consumer Handbook: You Didn't Win Airpods In This Week's Amazon Raffle

Mar 24, 2021

Credit Better Business Bureau

The Better Business Bureau is alerting the public to a con where scammers are again impersonating Amazon.com, this time through a text scam that claims you’ve won a raffle for a fitness watch, earbuds, or other tech gadget.

A congratulatory text message comes to your phone saying that you have won Airpods, an Apple Watch or some other enticing prize from Amazon, a BBB Accredited Business. Several reports mention text messages coming from the numbers (714) 883-6385 and (714) 507-5880, but there are many other numbers being used. The text message also includes instructions to click a suspicious link to arrange delivery of the item.

Don’t click! The text message is not from Amazon, and it’s the latest in a long list of  impersonation scams that have been happening since the start of the pandemic, often using Amazon’s brand. The bogus raffle and suspicious link are part of a con used to trick people into visiting a phishing website, where they unwittingly share account credentials - as well as personal and financial information - with fraudsters.

According to Amazon, any customer who receives a questionable email, text or call from someone impersonating Amazon or an Amazon employee should report them to Amazon customer service. The company investigates these complaints and will take action, if warranted. You can submit suspicious information to stop-spoofing@amazon.com. Amazon also offers a page to help identify if an email, text or phone call is really from Amazon.

In 2020, BBB received 771 reports of scams impersonating Amazon; it was the second most-impostored brand (after the Social Security Administration) based on consumer reports to BBB Scam Tracker. However, scammers are also sending similar texts impersonating other popular brands like Netflix, where they ask for your password, username, or a payment method. Regardless of who they pretend to be, consumers should not reply or click on the link.

Don’t believe every text you receive. As a general rule, companies cannot send you text messages unless you opt in to receive them. If you receive a text message from a company you have not given permission to contact you in this way, proceed with caution. In fact, any unsolicited text message should be considered a potential scam.

Ignore instructions to text “STOP” or “NO”. Even if you realize the message is a scam, do not text back for any reason. Scammers may want you to text back to verify that your phone number is an active one. Instead, simply block the number so you won’t receive messages from it in the future.