BOONVILLE, Mo. (KMIZ)
The Boonville Police Department warned the public Monday about people receiving calls from a local or well-known phone number claiming to be Amazon.
The police department said several different phone numbers are being used and these numbers may actually belong to a person but are being spoofed.
The police department says the callers are inquiring about an order although those receiving the call have not placed any orders with Amazon.
Michelle Gleba with Better Business Bureau says, "BBB has received several reports from consumers in Missouri regarding phony Amazon calls and usually they try to ask you for personal information, or they try to gain remote access to your computer."
Boonville resident and lawyer, Steve Concannon, says he has received calls claiming to be Amazon nearly 100 times in the past three months. Plus, he said he has always either answered or returned the call assuming it's a person that he knows because the number looks like it's local.
"I see that number pop up, like, oh, that's probably a client, that's someone who's either needing my services or is a client already when really it's nobody. It's nobody that I know at all," Concannon said.
Concannon says when he returns the missed calls, he states that he is a lawyer and it is alarming to people that are confused why he is calling them back. "It takes a good five minutes to calm someone down, say no, I just had a missed call from someone who was spoofing your number."
Gleba says scammers are spoofing numbers frequently. "They do this because they want to to increase the odds of you picking up the phone. The number might look like the number for an official business or organization or maybe even the government or they might make the number look like it's coming from a number in your community."
Another Boonville resident, Kaden Jensen, says his number was reported as being used by scammers.
"My friend messaged me said 'Hey man, isn't this your number?'. He sent me a link to a Facebook post. It was Boonville Police Department and I read the post and I'm just like, well, that's my cell phone number," Jensen said.
Jensen said he called into the police department to tell them that is his number being used, but it is not him. His phone number was removed from the post, but he isn't sure what to do moving forward.
"What do I do if it happens again? I'm gonna have to change my phone number, which is gonna be bad because of all the contractors that know my phone number and that's how they call me for work," Jensen said.
Gleba says people should be skeptical of any email, text or unsolicited phone call, also ignore calls that ask you to act immediately. "Then be aware when you're asked to pay by wire transfer or a prepaid debit card. These are almost always a sign of fraud."
Plus, if you are aware of a scammer call, the best thing to do is report it.
"We encourage you to report it immediately to Amazon if you think it's a phony call. They can investigate the matter and if they feel it's warranted, they can take action. I also encourage any consumer who is aware of a phony Amazon phone call to report on the BBB scam tracker. This is going to let others in the community know about the scam as well," Gleba said.