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Someone may be trying to take advantage of your love for Amazon.
That’s right. Scammers have been sending out real-looking emails claiming to be from Amazon, letting you know that there’s been a problem with your order. As long as you’re careful about the links you click on and personal information your provide, you can reduce the risk of becoming a victim of this or any other scam. Here’s what you need to know.
The rest of the email says: “There was a problem processing your order. You will not be able to access your account or place orders with us until we confirm your information. Click here to confirm your account.”
The scammers also ask that customers not open any new Amazon accounts, according to Inc.
If you happen to fall prey to the scam and click through to “confirm your account,” you’ll be redirected to a very convincing page bearing the Amazon logo asking for your name, address and full credit card information (even the security code!), according to AARP.
Whatever you do, don’t follow the email’s directions. The scammers are phishing, which means they’re trying to get you to hand over sensitive financial information.
You can report suspicious emails on the Amazon website, which also has tips for picking out which emails are legit and which were sent by malicious actors.
“If you received an email regarding an order you didn’t place, the email likely wasn’t from Amazon.com,” the online retailer warns customers on its website. “Please send the email as an attachment to [email protected].”
Some warning signs include requests for your Amazon username, password, personal information or for an update to your payment information, according to the company’s website.
Never trust an email with attachments or prompts to install software on your computer. Be on the lookout for typos or grammatical errors—even formatting errors can be suspicious.
And, last but not least, check the sender’s email address. If it doesn’t end with “@amazon.com,” it’s not really from Amazon.
Amazon Prime Benefits
We can all agree that Amazon Prime is pretty great. But did you know about some of these other cool perks you can get with the service?
1. Unlimited Photo Storage
If you’re anything like me, your collection of digital pictures is spiraling out of control. There are plenty of services that will store all of your pictures online, but most either charge you or do not store the full-resolution photo.
Prime customers get unlimited photo storage at no additional charge. Photos can be uploaded through your web browser, the Amazon Cloud Drive app, or with Amazon Cloud Drive Photos app (available for Android and iOS).
2. Free Music Streaming
Streaming music is quickly becoming the main way people listen to music these days. Services like Spotify and Apple Music are great and provide you an unlimited library of songs to access. Unfortunately, those services also charge $9.99/month. Enter Amazon Prime.
With Amazon Prime Music, you have access to thousands of the most popular artists. There are no ads, and you can play specific songs (unlike Pandora). The one watch-out I’ve found is that their collection is nowhere near as big as Spotify or Apple Music. However, it’s free to try out and see if you like it. They have an app available for iOS and Android devices as well.
3. Free Book Lending
Here’s a new one that I just learned about. Amazon Prime members are allowed to borrow a free book from the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library each month. The books can be delivered to any compatible device that is registered with your Amazon account, and there are thousands of books available to choose from.
4. Free Service For College Students For 6 Months
Good news if you are a college student: Through the Amazon Student program, you get Prime free for six months. All you need is a .edu email address. So even if you just graduated and still have your college email address, you can likely still take advantage of this offer!
And as a bonus, after the 6 month trial, you can keep Amazon Prime for 50 percent off the regular membership rate!
5. Prime-Only Access To Early Deals
This is another one I didn’t know much about. Amazon Prime members get 30-minute early access to select Amazon Lightning Deals. The deals are limited in quantity and go really quickly, but with early access, you have a much better chance of getting them before they sell out.
6. Free Movies And TV Streaming
This is one of the benefits that I take advantage of the most. And I honestly would pay the $99 year for this without any of other benefits (even the free shipping). Amazon has made a big investment in streaming TV and movies, and is quickly becoming Netflix’s biggest competitor.
Amazon Prime video has thousands of TV shows and movies you can access. In addition, Amazon has recently released some really great original shows that you can stream for free. You can watch the shows on the web, through the Amazon Video app, or stream to a low-cost Amazon device called the Fire TV Stick that you plug into your TV.
Personally, I prefer the Fire TV. While it’s more expensive than the stick ($99 vs. $39), I’ve found that the Fire TV is more reliable when streaming videos and TV shows.
7. Free Access To Audible
Prime members now have free access to the Audible Channels and a rotating menu of over 50 audio book titles. Audible was launched a couple of months ago, and “offers bits of ad-free content like audio editions of pieces from publishers like The Wall Street Journal, The Onion, The New York Times and Charlie Rose, while other selections are from original content producers,” according to The Consumerist. If you’re not a Prime member, it would cost $4.95 a month.