The Amazon fraud epidemic: More readers billed for goods they never ordered

The Amazon fraud epidemic: More readers billed for goods they never ordered

Amazon shoppers who fall victim to fraud are routinely fobbed off, Money Mail can reveal.

In the worst cases customers are thousands of pounds after being charged for orders.

It comes from a £ 80 worth of goods did not order.

When they complain, they fail to act on their calls and emails.

Internet users say they were not satisfied with Internet shopping giant Amazon after they were charged for orders they did not make

Internet users say they were not satisfied with Internet shopping giant Amazon after they were charged for orders they did not make

Internet users say they were not satisfied with Internet shopping giant Amazon after they were charged for orders they did not make

When Amazon responds, it typically advises the customer to call their bank, which then turn them back to Amazon.

Here are the most important things you can do about fraudsters targeting your Amazon account.

HOW FRAUDSTERS HACK YOUR ACCOUNT

All fraudsters need to get their account log in details, which are your email and password.

Often they trick people into this information by posing as another company looking for a phone or internet provider.

Amazon has repeatedly warned customers to watch out for fake emails designed to steal their account information.

Typically shoppers are encouraged to follow their personal information.

In reality it's a ploy to steal details. Alternatively, fraudsters may be hacked to buy your personal information on the internet.

To use Amazon you must link to a credit or debit card to your account, so once in crooks only need to click on items to buy them. Only sometimes you are asked to confirm your card details.

Experts say criminals typically make a series of low value orders to see if they go through. They may then go for a big buy or sell the account details to other criminals. The crooks may change the delivery address or try to intercept your packages.

Because you get a confirmation email from Amazon each time you order something. The problem is that when you notice the fraud the onus is on the customer to prove they did not order the goods.

FORCED TO TURN DETECTIVE

Ian Pooley, from Hartlepool, had to hacked. In April, it totaled £ 2,184.

He immediately contacted the company and promised to investigate. So he reported the fraudulent charges to American Express.

It emerged he had 'ordered' a baseball cap, a Valentino T-shirt, two Alexander McQueen jumpers and a pair of designer flip-flops from Italian luxury online retailer called frmoda.com.

Often fraudsters trick people into handing over their Amazon log in details by posing as another company searching as a phone or internet provider

Often fraudsters trick people into handing over their Amazon log in details by posing as another company searching as a phone or internet provider

Often fraudsters trick people into handing over their Amazon log in details by posing as another company searching as a phone or internet provider

Ian did not see the order when it was listed under a 'hidden orders' section – which Amazon.

While Amazon was investigating, another £ 879 transaction Ian did not recognize his credit card on Amazon Marketplace.

The charges were taken off his credit card account, but were put back on a few days later.

It turned out Amazon had told American Express that I had received the goods, sending Fedex paperwork as proof of delivery.

At this point Ian decided to take matters into his own hands and contacted Fedex. Ian Pooley, but in London, not Hartlepool.

He then sent all this evidence to Amazon but received no reply. It was only at the end of June – more than two months after reporting the fraud – that the charges were removed for good.

Ian, 67, a retired oil and gas consultant, says: 'Companies like Amazon think they are so big they do not need to provide customer service. They should be brought to task for the suffering of them.

Ian a £ 50 voucher as a gesture of goodwill.

PASSED FROM PILLAR TO POST

Zoe Simmons says she has been battling Amazon and her bank since £ 446 was taken from her account in August

Zoe Simmons says she has been battling Amazon and her bank since £ 446 was taken from her account in August

Zoe Simmons says she has been battling Amazon and her bank since £ 446 was taken from her account in August

Many fraud victims can not get a refund because Amazon and the bank both think the other is responsible.

Experts say the banks should refund the money under so-called chargeback rules, which apply to disputed transactions on credit and debit cards.

But if I am investigating you, I think it's time for the refund.

Zoe Simmons says she has been battling Amazon and her bank since £ 446 was taken from her account in August. The PA, 27, had received an email from Amazon on August 30 thanking her for her order. Before she could open the message it disappeared.

The next day they checked their bank balance and saw that £ 446 had been taken by Amazon.

It emerged fraudsters had hacked into her Amazon account and ordered two mobile phones. They then got into her email account, hoping to delete the order confirmation email before she saw it.

Zoe, of Bexleyheath, London, contacted Amazon which told her it would reimburse her.

But when Zoe called NatWest, it said Amazon was responsible for refunding it as the fraud at the retailer's end and what nothing to do with her card.

Zoe, who was flying to New York for a holiday the next day, had to borrow money from Daniel, 29.

Since returning home they have passed back and forth between the two companies, each adamant the other should foot the bill. Trading Standards advised her to make a formal complaint to both NatWest and Amazon. ]

The bank responded with an offer of £ 100 for the inconvenience but said it still could not help. Amazon maintained it was unable to issue a refund. It was only after Money Mail.

REFUND REQUEST WHAT IGNORED

For many customers it is Amazon's paint of communication that is so frustrating. Rita Hamilton says she has at least a dozen times since almost £ 500 taken from her account.

In September, a delivery man came to her door with a large box. They refused to take it because they said they had one.

Rita Hamilton says she has contacted Amazon at least a dozen times since almost £ 500 was taken from her account

Rita Hamilton says she has contacted Amazon at least a dozen times since almost £ 500 was taken from her account

Rita Hamilton says she has contacted Amazon at least a dozen times since almost £ 500 was taken from her account

Later Rita, 76, former homecare worker, spotted two suspicious transactions on her statements. One, dated September 12, which costing £ 444.96 for an Xbox.

The other was a £ 20.49 batch taken on September 17 for an unknown item.

Rita, who lives in Christchurch, Dorset, with 90-year-old husband Geoff, says she only uses Amazon to buy ebooks for her Kindle or DVDs which cost a few pounds.

She contacted her bank which canceled her card and directed her to Amazon for the refund. But when she complained about the fraud the retailer did nothing.

'You're through to someone and have a whole story again.' Amazon never does anything. It's like staff are following a script. I'm just going around in circles, she says.

'This is a significant amount of money. I feel like giving up. 'Experts believe crooks hacked their account and ordered the Xbox, hoping to intercept delivery. It was not until Money Mail was found.

FURY AT BEING FOBBED OFF

Alan Jeffery is so furious about being ignored for weeks. His problems started at Basingstoke at the start of September.

He thought they were a late birthday present from his daughter Kerry. But when he opened them he discovered a pair of pink headphones, two pairs of binoculars and a callus removal machine.

Alan Jeffery first thought the Amazon boxes were at his daughter's house

Alan Jeffery first thought the Amazon boxes were at his daughter's house

Alan Jeffery first thought the Amazon boxes were at his daughter's house

He called Amazon and what he said had been totaling £ 189.

When Alan, 69, he said he had not ordered any of the items.

Alan called NatWest to cancel his card. The bank said that because the fraud occurred on his Amazon account, not his credit card, it was up to the retailer to refund him.

Alan, a semi-retired mechanical design engineer, says he emailed Amazon to ask where to return the unwanted goods and get a refund.

Each time he receives the same reply, thanking him for informing you about the unauthorized activity.

Alan says: 'Amazon's arrogance is astounding. They do not want to know. They have fobbed me off and shown a complete disregard to the situation.

"I think they just hope I will go away." Alan has now sent the items back to Amazon. Amazon has sent a £ 30 voucher to show goodwill.

Meanwhile, Annie and Robin Cox, from Hampshire, were left waiting more than eight weeks after reporting fraud on their account.

They have received three parcels containing a Wifi Smart Bulb and two metal detectors in August.

The next day Robin, 73, checked his bank account and saw three payments of £ 18.49, £ 18.99 and £ 15.99 – a total of £ 53.47 – had been taken from his account.

Annie and Robin Cox, from Hampshire, were left waiting more than eight weeks after reporting fraud on their account

Annie and Robin Cox, from Hampshire, were left waiting more than eight weeks after reporting fraud on their account

Annie and Robin Cox, from Hampshire, were left waiting more than eight weeks after reporting fraud on their account

He rang Amazon and what promised a call back within 24 hours but none came. Amazon has promised to contact them.

Adam French, consumer rights expert at which ?, says staff at banks and has not been taught the correct processes.

He says: 'This is just another example of how to do it.

These are appalling examples of customer service. Clearly the banks and Amazon do not have their houses in order. '

To Amazon spokesman would not comment on the individual cases but urgent customers to fraudulently emails, sayings to orders should be made through accounts, and not by responding to emails.

a.murray@dailymail.co.uk

What to do if your Amazon account is hacked

Call Amazon on 0800 279 7234 to report the fraud on your account. You may be advised to change your password.

Next, instead of describing it as fraud, you will not be able to pay the money.

If you paid by debit card, ask the bank to claw back the money using 'chargeback' rules. If you have paid by credit card, ask for a refund under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. Adam French, of the consumer group Which ?, says the key to getting your money back. If you want to get your money back quickly, as fraud cases take far longer to investigate.

'Once you have returned, you can tell your bank.

Beware of any unsolicited calls from banks and other organizations asking for personal information. These could be scam calls from fraudsters who now have your details.

Mr French adds that there is a limited timeframe with chargeback claims, so be sure to make them within 120 days of the payments being made.

If you have received the goods, you may need to return the items back, and provide proof of postage, before your bank will agree to refund you.

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