EXCLUSIVE: Here’s How Amazon Helps Consumers Avoid E-Commerce Scams

Scott Knapp

Scott Knapp, Director of Global Shopper Risk Prevention, Amazon

Amazon takes numerous steps to investigate, detect, prevent, and prosecute online fraud against its customers.

Scott Knapp, director of global shopper risk prevention at Amazon, recently spoke with The Age of Chain Stores how the online retailer uses technology and strategy to protect customers from e-commerce fraud, especially Prime Day approaches.

What scams are currently the most popular and most common among consumers?

One popular trend is impersonation scams, where scammers impersonate a trusted brand to extort money or sensitive information, such as a Social Security number, bank details, or Amazon account information.

Of all Amazon impersonation scams reported by our customers worldwide in 2023, more than two-thirds of scams allegedly involved order or account issues. Both were reported in more than 20 countries.

Order scams involve sending unsolicited phone calls, text messages or emails detailing a purchase you never made, asking you to confirm or decline the purchase and provide the scammer with your account details.

Account Issues Scams involve fake billing issues and may refer to unauthorized account access. This often involves the threat of account suspension if the fake issue is not resolved urgently.

Between February and May 2024, among Amazon customers who reported financial losses, the three most popular tactics used by fraudsters were:

  • Scammers call about a recent fake order that they claim the customer must pay for, or ask for customers’ personal information for verification purposes in order to cancel the fake order. In May 2024, 50% of all financial losses reported by customers came from this tactic.
  • Scammer emails regarding a customer’s Prime membership, where a fake invoice is provided to the customer. Customers are then asked to provide card information or personal information in order to cancel the payment.
  • Emails from scammers about customers’ Prime memberships, informing them that their Prime membership has expired or there is a billing issue with their Prime subscription. Customers are then asked to provide their card details to renew their membership.

What solutions and strategies does Amazon use to combat them?

Our obsession with our customers drives our commitment to ensuring that fraudsters do not use our brand to take advantage of the people who trust us. We work diligently to help educate consumers to avoid fraud, ensure that consumers know it’s us, and ensure that fraudsters are held accountable.

(Read more: Amazon advises retailers to combat fraud)