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Amazon Account Fraud Consumer Fraud

Discussion in 'Consumer Fraud & Scams' started by Neoen, Dec 8, 2015.

  1. Neoen

    Neoen Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I have a very strange situation, I'll start by spelling out what happened.

    At about 2am on November 17th my amazon account was apparently hacked. 3 amazon prime gift memberships were bought and redeemed by my account leaving my account with a $297 gift card balance. Then 6 digital video games were purchased with that gift card credit, leaving just a bit of credit behind on my account. All in all the fraud came out to about $237 worth of digital video games.

    I have contacted amazon multiple times and they refuse to help and say the transactions were not fraudulent. They clearly were. I called their customer support about 5 times until I emailed the executive customer support, where they came back and said it was not fraud and would not be able to respond any further. I then filed a BBB complaint where they said basically the same thing.

    Now I'm stuck, with Amazon 100% unwilling to help me. What can I do legally? I was considering filing a police report, just for the sake of having one in hand and then I considered taking them to small claims court. Do I have a case?

    There is a credit card dispute going on right now but I'm not sure how well that is going to go considering it is the "amazon store card" that got used and not a visa, master, or discover card.
     
  2. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    There's nothing you can do against Amazon. If you sue you won't win.

    I just bought an Amazon gift card the other day. Here's what it says on the back:

    "Amazon.com is not responsible if a GC is lost, stolen, destroyed or used without permission."

    That's a simple contract that you bound yourself to when you bought the card.

    It also refers to amazon.com/gc-legal where the terms and conditions (also your contract) are spelled out in full and repeats the admonition in Paragraph 3:

    Amazon.com Help: Amazon.com Gift Card Terms and Conditions

    Your recourse is against the hacker. Go ahead and file a police report just in case his/her identity is ever determined.

    I hope your chargeback claim works out for you.

    In the future buy lower value cards so your risk is smaller, like maybe a $50 card at a time. Less convenient, yes, but certainly less of a risk.

    Another way of protecting yourself is to use credit cards that can assign a temporary card number for a single purchase for the amount of the purchase. That credit card number can only be used once and cannot be used again. As far as I know, only BofA and Citicard do that. I use my BofA (called Shopsafe) exclusively for online purchases but sometimes buy a gift card at Fry's for bonus fuel points.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2015
  3. Neoen

    Neoen Law Topic Starter New Member

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    The point is I did not buy the cards at all, they were purchased without my authorization via my account. They were bought via my account through an apparent compromise of my account, that Amazon refuses to help me with.
     
  4. txls

    txls Well-Known Member

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    Is there any chance that someone in your household made these purchases? You might try asking them what makes them believe that it is not fraud.
     
  5. Neoen

    Neoen Law Topic Starter New Member

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    No chance. Haha it's funny you ask that because every time I spoke with Amazon they asked the same thing. No that is not possible, the transactions happened when both me and my girlfriend were sleeping (about 2:30am). They bought 2 video games 3 times each, one of which I had never heard of before.

    This is so frustrating because #1 I'm out over $200 just before christmas, but more importantly if my account is still compromised then I could be out more money in the future and not have any recourse.

    They wont tell me why they believe it's not fraud, they just say "sorry that's proprietary information" and then follow up with "we will not be able to respond further on this matter".
     
  6. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    You'll need an expert for this but isn't there some way of checking your computer to see if it was used or hacked during that time either directly or remotely?

    Change your password and user ID and don't reveal it to anybody, not even your girlfriend.

    You might even consider password protecting your computer and keeping that secret, too.

    I suspect that the simplest answer to what happened is likely to be found closer to home where somebody somehow got your user ID and password.

    What else do you expect them to tell you. As far as Amazon is concerned, the order came from you.

    I suggest you report this to the authorities. They may have a way of getting Amazon to pony up the IP address of whoever hacked the account.

    Are you saying the gift card was purchased via your credit card?

    In that case it wasn't fraudulent use of the gift card, it was fraudulent use of your credit card. So the next question is how did somebody get your credit card information and its security code along with your Amazon user ID and password.

    More and more this is looking like something close to home.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2015
  7. txls

    txls Well-Known Member

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    You may need to cancel the card(s) and or accounts associated with this.
     
  8. Neoen

    Neoen Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I've increased security for all online accounts at this point and removed all stored payment methods. I'm probably going to close the amazon store card on principle anyways, especially if they end up not backing me up with this "purchase". Visa, Mastercard and Discover are much better in that aspect.
     
  9. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    You haven't cleared up the question as to whether your credit card was used to buy the gift card.
     
  10. Neoen

    Neoen Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Yes it was purchased via the Amazon store card that was saved on my account for future purchases, which did not require any sort of security code or anything if you gained access to my account.

    Now I have removed all saved accounts so it will require me to enter a credit card number for each transaction along with two factor authentication and a stronger password.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2015
  11. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    That's the card that Chase issued?

    I have the same card. It says I'm not responsible for fraudulent use. However, I'm not taking any chances so I deleted the card as a payment method and I'll have to enter the card number when I make a purchase.

    Is Chase working on the chargeback investigation for you?
     
  12. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    I agree, with both of you, I just closed my Amazon credit card account.
    One less credit card, one less financial threat.
    I'll also pass the word to my associates about the Amazon card.
    Amazon is ripe for the picking.
    Their business model was a solid idea, yet their customer service is lacking over the last three years.
    Their idiotic decision to partner with the USPS will play a part in their downfall.

    A little web snooping reveals:

    The Amazon.com of Stolen Credit Cards Makes It All So Easy - Businessweek

    Do I have a right to know who used my card fraudulently?

    http://www.amazon.com/forum/store c...orum=Fx1RJQNXF8J189X&cdThread=Tx3ACYAUW336MH9


    The new front on fraud? Your credit card


    YIKES, scams are all around us.

    I use a $500 pre-paid MasterCard card for most online transactions, with a $1,000 pre-paid Visa card in reserve.

    I use a PayPal card with less than $10 on it for booking hotel reservations, etc...

    Behind all of that is my personal and professional UMBRELLA insurance policies working in conjunction with my homeowners policy.

    Even that strategy has issues, and is not without flaws.
     
  13. Neoen

    Neoen Law Topic Starter New Member

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    No this is the synchrony bank "Amazon Store Card", not the Chase Visa Amazon card. I think I'd be in a better situation if it was the Visa, Visa is really good about backing up the consumer when it comes to fraud. I'll just have to see how this synchrony bank stuff goes. They are doing an "investigation" at this point but that's all I can ever get out of them.

    I was pleased to see that Amazon does offer two factor auth, so I set that up right away. Looking to set up two factor on as many accounts as possible at this point.
     
  14. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    You say that the transactions were "clearly" fraudulent. What is clear to you may not be clear to another party. Please identify exactly what it is about the transactions that should be "clearly" fraudulent from Amazon's side of the computer.
     
  15. Neoen

    Neoen Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Heh yeah I've tried until I'm blue in the face. They say that their security processes are proprietary and they cannot tell me how they determine it's not fraud and shut down the conversation with "we cannot reply to this matter any further".

    1. It happened while all parties that legitimately have access to this account were sleeping (about 2:30 am). - My girlfriend has (had) access to this account, but we also own a house together and have many joint bank accounts together so I didn't think much of us using the same amazon account. It's not like I swiped right on her yesterday lol.

    2. There were 2 different video games bought, 3 times each, all of which were activated by the hackers. That alone looks fishy to me, why would I need 3 copies of 2 different video games? Side note, I hadn't even heard of one of them before.

    3. Why wouldn't I just buy the video games with the amazon store card rather than buy 3 amazon prime membership gifts just to turn around and redeem them as gift card credit to then buy the 6 video games? That again seems very fishy, and I'm just now realizing they probably did that to see how much available credit I had and use it all up. Luckily it was only $300.

    Anyways I could go on but the point is moot now. I would just love if they could at least tell me the IP address that the transactions originated from. Because if it originated from an IP address that one of my devices is attached to, that tells me that my device is compromised and I need to take further action. If it is an ip address in a different country then that is clear proof that I was hacked.

    At this point I guess I'm just looking at it as 'lesson learned'. I'm thankful it was only $230 ish dollars and I'm taking as many steps as I can to keep it from ever happening again. I'm also wildly unimpressed with Amazon customer service, not only were they unhelpful but they were pretty rude about it too. Hopefully I'll have a different experience with Syrnchrony bank.
     
  16. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    I don't think you fully comprehended what I was trying to get across. I am not in the least questioning that it is clear to you that they're fraudulent. But Amazon has no independent knowledge of when all your parties are sleeping. People do make purchases at that hour. People do buy multiple copies - one to keep and others to give as gifts, or to share. Amazon doesn't know what games you've heard of. And so on.

    While it may be clear as crystal to you, and I am not saying you're wrong, the point is that nothing you've posted is going to stand out to Amazon and say, Absolutely there must be fraud because no one would ever make this kind of transaction legitimately. They don't know you in person.

    I am not defending their customer service - I've had my own issues with them. And I'm certainly not defending rudeness. But in fairness, just because it's clear to you doesn't mean it's as obvious from their perspective.
     
  17. Neoen

    Neoen Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Oh I hear you on that, and I agree. What I'm saying is I told them these things. The main thing I wish they would do is actually help me with the investigation rather than be vague and cut the conversation off. I'm sure they have a log of what ip address the transaction came from, and that would be the key piece of evidence.

    Regardless, there's nothing I can do.
     
  18. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    And someone who did make a fraudulent transaction could lie to them about what happened. Again, I believe you when you say it was fraudulent. I'm saying that, for example, your saying that everyone was sleeping when the transaction took place is not proof that they were.

    I suspect that privacy laws prohibit Amazon from giving you that IP address without a court order. I doubt they're deliberately withholding it from you just to be arbitrary.
     
  19. Betty3

    Betty3 Super Moderator

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    I certainly do! :)
     

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