Just the other day a reader asked me if I had heard of the Amazon job scam that was being promoted by phone. Having an unpublished phone number, I rarely receive any unsolicited phone calls, so I wasn’t aware of it. So, I decided to do some research and see what I could dig up on this work-at-home scam.
First, let me say, Amazon is a legit e-commerce company that offers individuals different ways to make money from home. But, with that being said, they do not recruit people for these positions by phone.
Before you jump into the details, be sure to grab our Free Scam Prevention Workbook here, which will help you organize and track your job search so you can avoid scams!
Legit Ways to Make Money with Amazon
First, let's talk about some of the legit ways people can make money with Amazon. One way is through their affiliate program, where publishers and bloggers make an advertising fee off of items that are promoted and sold on their websites.
Another way in which you can make money on Amazon is through Amazon Mechanical Turk which is a platform where individuals complete short tasks for money.
You can also earn money from Amazon by using Amazon’s FBA Program. Amazon acts as a fulfillment center for your business. You sell stuff, then they pack and ship it for you. They take a 30% cut of the total sales, and the rest is your profit. There are no fees to participate in any of these programs; they are free to join.
Amazon also offers money-making opportunities via self-publishing, mobile applications, various selling platforms, and sell back programs. They also hire people for remote customer service and delivery jobs — but never do they call potential workers for these positions.
How This Amazon Phone Scam Works
Now, since I have not received this phone call it’s difficult for me to say what exactly it is … and I’m unable to find the landing page for the promotion of this work-at-home scam. All I have to go on is testimonials from other individuals on forums and blogs. But I think this is the gist of it …
There are work-at-home ads circulating online when individuals click on the ad; they are brought to a landing page that requests their name and phone number.
The scammers then call the people with a hyped-up pitch about how much money they can make with Amazon. They then ask for your credit card number for a startup fee, and this is when they get you. Amazon has nothing to do with this fraudulent opportunity; these crooks using Amazon's good name to promote their scam — the same sort of thing has happened with Google — you can read about it here.
What Does This Amazon Job Scam Look Like?
While I was unable to listen or view the promotion for this scam, other individuals and readers have mentioned that the caller left a voicemail and they were directed to AmazonCareers.co which was an offer for Real Profits Online.
There have been a lot of readers who have received this phone call, so be sure to read all the comments below for more details.
Also, Amazon's legit job page is located at Amazon.jobs/en
Check out these articles for other variations and names used with this Amazon Phone Scam:
- Amazon Associates Phone Scam
- Scam Artists Are Using Fake Phone Numbers to Pose as Amazon Customer Service
- Scam Alert: Phony Amazon Job Asks Applicants to Pay Upfront
Just a heads up, there are multiple Amazon scams floating around right now. There's the gift card scam, the phishing scams, as well as discount offer scams. So before you click on a link or give your credit card information out — do a Google search and see if it's legit. In most cases, Amazon will NOT contact you for any of these types of opportunities.
How Do You Protect Yourself From This Scam and Others?
First, and foremost, you should be keeping track of your job hunting activities. This post here explains how to do that. Unsolicited job offers from so-called recruiters, just don't happen for entry-level positions. There are more than enough candidates for these roles that there's no need for head hunters to recruit. When you keep track of what positions you apply for, you have a better idea if a call or email is legit, because you can spot the unsolicited job offers from a mile away. A little work upfront can help protect you from scams in the long run.
Here are some other red flags to be aware of on your job search:
- Vague job descriptions
- Lack of contact information
- High payouts for entry-level work
- Poor ratings on the Better Business Bureau website
- Deceptive marketing and advertising practices
- Boasting fake affiliations and partnerships
- Negative reviews
- High-pressure sales tactics
- Too good to be true offers
- Having to pay a fee upfront
- Fake email addresses and websites – AmazonCareers.co
- Giving personal information over the phone, social security number, bank account info, or credit card information
What To Do If You've Fallen For This Scam
If you've fallen for this scam, the first thing you need to do is contact or your bank or credit card company and have them stop payment. Many of these scams have recurring fees that are charged monthly, sometimes weekly. The sooner you can contact your providers the better your chances of reclaiming your money.
You should report the scam to the Federal Trade Commission so that they can investigate and hopefully put a stop to these scammers' activities. You should also contact the three major credit bureaus to place a fraud alert on your accounts; you may even want to freeze your lines of credit so that scammers can't open up any lines of credit in your name.
If you’re feeling uneasy about your work-at-home job search — check out the paid membership site FlexJobs. Every single job listed on their website is hand-screened for legitimacy. So when you apply, you can rest assured that you’re not going to fall prey to a work-at-home scam. Not only does FlexJobs have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, but they also offer a money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied.
Have you received a phone call offering this Amazon scam? What else have you heard about it? Drop us a note; we'd love to hear from you.
Please help us spread the word about this scam by sharing this article on your favorite social media sites – thanks!
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Originally published May 14, 2014. Content updated February 23, 2019.
Holly Reisem Hanna is the publisher and founder of The Work at Home Woman, which has been helping individuals find remote careers and businesses that feed their souls since 2009. Through her unconventional career path of holding over 30 jobs and obtaining two college degrees, she’s been able to figure out how to find a career path that you’re truly passionate about. Holly’s had the pleasure of sharing her expertise on sites like CNN, MSN Money, Huffington Post, Woman’s Day Magazine, as well as being recognized by Forbes as one of the “Top 100 Websites for Your Career.” Holly resides in Austin, Texas, with her husband and daughter and enjoys reading, traveling, and yoga.
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