FTC: Robocallers are now pretending to be Apple and Amazon

A new robocall scheme is using the tech giants' name to trick victims.

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Mariella Moon
December 4th, 2020
In this article: FTC, robocalls, Apple, Amazon, news, gear
Phone call from unknown number late at night. Scam, fraud or phishing with smartphone concept. Prank caller, scammer or stranger. Man answering to incoming call. Hoax person with fake identity.
Tero Vesalainen via Getty Images

There’s a new robocall scheme that uses Apple’s and Amazon’s name to rip people off, and the Federal Trade Commission has issued a warning to raise awareness about it. The FTC has posted two versions of the scam on its website, so people would know what to expect. First of the two versions is a recorded message telling recipients about a suspicious purchase made through their Amazon account, or that the retailer lost or can’t fulfill one of their current orders.

The other version tells call recipients that Apple has spotted suspicious activity in their iCloud account and that it may have been breached. Both versions employ the same tactic, though, asking people to press 1 or call a certain phone number to speak with a customer service representative. Like similar robocall schemes, the scammer would take the chance to squeeze people’s personal information out of them if they call — information like their credit card numbers and account passwords. The FTC is obviously warning people against pressing 1 or calling back and advising those who get the calls to just hang up.

Agencies like the FTC and the FCC have been trying to address America’s growing robocall problem for a while now. The FCC ordered all phone companies to adopt the STIR/SHAKEN protocol by June 30th, 2021, and carriers like T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon (owner of Engadget’s parent company) already rolled out their anti-robocall tech. People are now also more aware about robocall scams, but it pays to know about the latest schemes robocallers use in hopes of getting people to fall for their tricks.

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