November 9, 2023
Amazon files four lawsuits against impersonators behind Prime Video scam
Amazon filed four lawsuits against fraudulent organizations attempting to scam consumers into purchasing nonexistent Prime Video offerings by impersonating Amazon customer support representatives.
The groups behind these schemes operated websites that visually appeared to be associated with Amazon, but were in fact operated by bad actors who used Amazon branding and logos without authorization. Under the guise of offering customer support, they targeted individuals seeking assistance with activating Prime Video on streaming devices.
When consumers searched for online support, the bad actors used their websites to prompt scam targets to call a number for assistance to activate Prime Video. The scammers would then pitch nonexistent Prime Video subscription “upgrades” for an additional cost.
Amazon’s customer obsession motivates our commitment to protect our brand from scammers attempting to take advantage of people who trust us. We work diligently to help educate consumers avoid scams and ensure scammers are held accountable.
Customers are protected when they shop on Amazon. That is why we are initiating the takedown of scammers and work closely with law enforcement to hold bad actors accountable. Amazon’s Customer Protection and Enforcement team—composed of experienced attorneys and expert cybercrime investigators—conducts investigations and takes action against scammers around the world. These lawsuits are part of Amazon’s sustained efforts to combat impersonation scams globally, including recent actions taken by Amazon and Microsoft with law enforcement in India that led to the raids of numerous locations tied to impersonation fraud.
The more scams are reported to Amazon, the better our tools get at identifying bad actors so we can take action against them. Customers can report suspicious communications at amazon.com/reportascam, so we can protect their accounts and refer bad actors to law enforcement. Even if you aren’t an Amazon customer, you can still report a suspicious message to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The lawsuits were filed in Western District of Pennsylvania, Eastern District of North Carolina, Northern District of Georgia, and in the District of Arizona under case numbers:
Read more about Amazon’s efforts to protect consumers from impersonation scams and our tips to help identify and avoid them.
October 30, 2023
Amazon files a lawsuit against publishing scammers to help protect authors
Amazon filed a lawsuit in the Northern District of California against a group of nearly 20 individuals and associated companies that falsely claim affiliation with Amazon services, including Amazon Publishing and Kindle Direct Publishing.
“We have a consistent track record of working to stop bad actors from taking advantage of our customers, and this lawsuit against publishing scammers continues that work on behalf of authors,” said David Naggar, vice president of Books and Kindle Content at Amazon.
We care about authors and are committed to providing them with an innovative, world-class publishing experience they can trust. We also work to protect authors from fraudsters who attempt to take advantage of them by offering fake publishing services that falsely claim to be affiliated with Amazon’s publishing services. While we have taken action against dozens of these fraudulent websites, the scammers’ misdeeds have continued, so we are taking greater steps to ensure no authors or publishers are further harmed.
The scammers’ websites are designed to lure authors into paying a fee to publish, and then deliver substandard services or no services at all. Amazon is committed to ensuring these scammers don’t continue to take advantage of the author community.
We are taking this action to hold the bad actors behind these sites accountable for their unlawful activities and make sure that no authors or publishers are further harmed by their actions.
Amazon offers world-class publishing services for the author community, and the scam sites run by the defendants named in our lawsuit have no affiliation with either Amazon’s trade publisher Amazon Publishing or our self-publishing service Kindle Direct Publishing. Founded in 2009, Amazon Publishing, our in-house publisher of fiction, nonfiction, and children’s books, leverages Amazon’s drive for innovation with our passion for books on behalf of authors. For the self-published author, Kindle Direct Publishing enables writers to publish their work as print books and eBooks for free, where they may reach millions of readers, including through subscriptions like Kindle Unlimited. Since its founding in 2007, Kindle Direct Publishing has empowered writers and diversified the publishing industry.
We encourage authors and publishers to report any suspicious communications or sites to us. These reports give us information that we can use to help protect authors and publishers, and identify bad actors to take action against them.
October 19, 2023
Amazon and Microsoft team up to protect consumers from impersonation scams
Our vision is to build a world where consumers are confident that they will not be taken advantage of by bad actors who impersonate trusted brands. Because impersonation scams, when a scammer pretends to be a trusted entity to try to defraud consumers, are an industrywide issue, Amazon works to proactively protect consumers by educating them, innovating on their behalf, and holding bad actors accountable. We also team up with others across industry sectors to develop solutions and support to address this shared challenge.
Amazon, Microsoft, and Central Bureau Investigation (CBI), the federal enforcement agency in India, have taken decisive action against perpetrators of technology support fraud. On Thursday, October 19, CBI announced it conducted multiple criminal raids in various cities spanning several states against illegal call centers in India that were set up to impersonate Microsoft and Amazon customer support. The illegal call centers impacted more than 2,000 Amazon and Microsoft customers primarily based in the U.S., but also in Australia, Canada, Germany, Spain, and the UK.
This operation was supported by a joint criminal referral made by Amazon and Microsoft through joint prosecution agreements in the U.S. and India, as the same cyber criminals were targeting both our customers. We want to thank CBI for taking swift action from the evidence and information we provided.
This collaboration marks the first time Microsoft and Amazon have joined forces to combat tech support fraud.
Together, the companies are setting a precedent for the power of industry collaboration and the collective impact it can have in holding bad actors accountable. Our joint efforts signify a commitment to long-term engagement in combating these scams. We will continue to work with Indian law enforcement agencies as well as authorities from countries of victims so that they can continue to act.
“We are pleased to join forces with Microsoft, and we believe actionable partnerships like these are critical in helping protect consumers from impersonation scams,” said Kathy Sheehan, vice president and associate general counsel, Business Conduct & Ethics. “Amazon will remain vigilant and persistent in our efforts to stay one step ahead of fraudsters, but we cannot win this fight alone. We encourage others in the industry to join us as a united front against criminal activity.”
Amazon has zero tolerance for criminals who pretend to be us, or any brand, to commit fraud.
Amazon has zero tolerance for criminals who pretend to be us, or any brand, to commit fraud. Through our continued commitment to protect consumers from impersonation scams, we initiated takedowns of more than 20,000 phishing websites and 10,000 phone numbers being used as part of impersonation schemes in 2022. We also have referred hundreds of bad actors across the globe to law enforcement authorities, which have resulted in arrests and raids on scam operations. We will continue to support law enforcement’s efforts in ensuring these scammers are held accountable.
Customers can view authentic order and communication history directly on Amazon by logging into our account and checking the Message Center. Amazon will never ask for payment over the phone or email—only in our mobile app, on our website, or in one of our physical stores. We will never call and ask to make a payment or bank transfer on another website.
If you’re ever unsure, it’s safest to stop engaging with the potential scammer and report suspicious communication to us directly at amazon.com/reportascam. Even if you aren’t an Amazon customer, you can still report a suspicious message to us at email@example.com.