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Anatomy of a Scam: Phishing Emails and Amazon Gift Cards

Aug 25, 2022
senior woman giving credit card details on the phone

Episode 3 – The Fake Amazon Email

In this series I provide a short summary of how specific scams work. 

No details or extra filler. Just the facts and a quick read. Today we will cover…

Fake Amazon / Apple / Target / Microsoft / Any Well Known Company Emails 

Step 1: Scammers send phishing emails

  • Scammers send fake phishing emails that appear legitimate. These emails look like they came from the actual company the victim knows. These emails will appear to be a statement of a charge(s) with a statement of order confirmation. 
  • There is always a phone number to call for support with the order. The order which the victim did not place, causes the victim to call the support phone number.

Step 2: Scammer gets victim on the phone

  • Once the victim calls, the "support person" convinces them that the fastest way to get their money back is to go purchase gift cards, read the numbers to the support person, and then the money will go back into their Amazon, Apple, Target etc account. 
  • This scam may seem obvious while you read this, but there are countless victims of this scam who have lost thousands, so best to be aware.

Step 3: Scammer completes the fraudulent activity

  • The scammer stays on the phone with the victim throughout the gift card purchase process, and then has them read out the gift card information to them. Often times, the victim will complete this while still in the parking lot of the store they bought the gift cards from. The scammer makes the victim believe is in their best interest to do this.  
  • These scammers can be very manipulative and put pressure on the victim to act quickly. 
  • Victims say it is hard to understand how to make sense of how this happens to someone from the outside, yet it is happening to tens of thousands of people every day. Scammers are getting more sophisticated daily, and are experts at slightly changing the scam to make it continue to be effective.
  • Tip: Never let anyone convince you to buy a gift card no matter what the reason.  

The best way to avoid a scam like this is to detect it and avoid interacting with it.

At Fellow Fox we teach street smarts so that you detecting and avoiding interacting with a scammer becomes instinct.

Visit for more information.

Stay safe and stay vigilant,

Partha Ray (Founder and CEO, Fellow Fox)