By Holly Reisem Hanna
Just the other day a reader asked me if I had heard of the Amazon Phone Scam. Having an unpublished phone number, I rarely receive any unsolicited phone calls, so I wasn’t aware of it.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 find on it.
First let me preface this post with … Amazon is a legit company that offers individuals three different ways to make money from home. First is through their affiliate program, where publishers make an advertising fee off of items that are promoted and sold on their websites. The second 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. The third way you can make money from Amazon is by using Amazon’s FBA Program. Basically, 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 take part in any of these programs, they are free to join.
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 for additional information. Then the scammers call the individuals 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 are just 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.
While I was unable to listen or view the promotion for this opportunity, other individuals have mentioned these companies as being affiliated with it: Affiliate Business Group (which has an F rating on the Better Business Bureau website) and Ace Marketing Group, LLC.
Below you can view the various posts and threads on the Amazon Phone Scam.
- Amazon Associates Phone Scam
- Scam Alert – Affiliate Business Group
- Forum – Anyone Heard or Affiliate Business Group?
- Review – Ace Marketing Group, LLC
- ScamBook – Ace Marketing Group, LLC Compliants
So what warning flags should you look out for when looking for work at home opportunities?
- Vague job descriptions.
- Lack of contact information.
- High payouts with little or no work.
- Poor ratings on the Better Business Bureau website.
- Deceptive marketing and advertising practices.
- Boasting fake affiliations and partnerships.
- Negative reviews.
- Too good to be true offers.
- Having to pay a fee upfront.
- Giving personal information over the phone, social security number, bank account info, or credit card information.
Have you received a phone call offering this scam? What else have you heard about it?