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Security & privacy

Scary sign that someone hacked your Amazon account

‘Tis the season [for scammers] to be jolly. With all the excitement and frustration this time of year, crooks are ramping up their efforts. Tap or click here for holiday scams making the rounds.

It’s not always easy to spot a scam, and you can overlook the signs as a mistake. For example, have you ever received a package that wasn’t intended for you? How about an empty box?

While delivery errors do happen, they could be a sign of something more sinister. Keep reading to find out how to handle this scary scenario.

Don’t just brush it off

Not everyone keeps track of their Amazon packages, especially during busy shopping seasons. So it’s no surprise that people are falling for scams involving missed deliveries. Tap or click here for three signs to watch out for.

Now here’s something different — you get an empty package from someone you don’t know. Or the package contains only a piece of cardboard. Perhaps it’s just a mistake, right? Maybe not.

This is known as a “brushing” scam. Crooks steal your online retail credentials and send junk packages to your home. They may even create an online profile using your information, which they use to post reviews.

A crook doesn’t have to have access to your account to send you fake packages, but when they do, they can cause more problems.

So why would someone send an empty package to your home? It’s to add legitimacy to their online storefronts. It translates into more business. So not only are they stealing your personal information but also using it to scam others. Tap or click here for our report on brushing scams and what you need to do.

What you can do

There are a few ways to know if someone is using your Amazon account without your knowledge. Let’s start with an essential security step: two-factor authentication.

2FA adds an extra layer of security to your Amazon account log-in. You get a unique security code via text or an authenticator app when you access your account. If someone else tries to log in, you’ll still get a code. You’ll need both that code and your password to log in.

Set up 2FA on Amazon

  • Open your Account page and select Login & security.
  • Select Turn on next to Two-step verification.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions.

You can also check your recent orders to see if there are any unauthorized purchases. While you’re at it, check your archives!

Check your Amazon orders

  • Open your Account page and go to Your Orders. Look for anything suspicious or unexpected.
  • Now, open your Account page and select Archived orders. Anything there that doesn’t belong?

Archiving orders can be a good thing if you do it yourself to hide gifts you purchased for your loved ones who have access to your account. Tap or click here for more ways to keep things under wraps.

Now let’s take a look at reviews. Someone who gets into your account can post glowing praise in your name.

Check your reviews

  • Open your Account page and go to Your Amazon profile under Ordering and shopping preferences.
  • Scroll down and you’ll see your reviews. Are there any that shouldn’t be there?

Change your password immediately if you have any reason to believe that someone accessed your account without your permission or knowledge.

How to change your Amazon password

  • Open your Account page and select Login & security.
  • Select Edit next to Password.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions.

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