COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Scammers impersonate all sorts of businesses, but according to the Federal Trade Commission, Amazon is a clear favorite.

From July 2020 through June 2021, the FTC reports that one in three people who reported a business impersonator said the scammer claimed to be from Amazon. Reported losses totaled more than $27 million dollars.

To keep that number from growing, Amazon is sending out a message to customers, listing four ways to identify scams and keep your personal information safe.

1. Don’t feel pressured to give someone information over the phone

Steven Pope, founder of My Amazon Guy, said that’s especially true if you aren’t expecting the call.

“Don’t give them your social security number; don’t give them the last four digits of your credit card number; don’t even tell them where you live,” Pope said. “There’s no reason for this.”

2. Never make a payment over the phone

Amazon said it will never ask a customer to provide payment information over the phone.

“If somebody called you to say ‘Hey, there’s a problem, there’s this fraudulent charge, I need you to read back your credit card number to me,’ that just doesn’t make sense, doesn’t smell quite right,” Pope said. “I might have a problem with that one.”

3. Only trust Amazon-owned channels

If you’re looking for customer support or want to make changes to your account, only do so through the Amazon mobile app or website.

“Don’t click on weird links in your emails because they can track the URLs you’ve clicked, and then they can send you to a real-looking website and act like you’re at the right source,” said Pope. “But you’re better off just going direct to the source yourself.”

4. Be wary of false urgency.

Scammers may try to make you feel like you have to act quickly, especially if money is involved.

“If there was an issue when it comes to finance, these sorts of issues are handled over the course of weeks, if not a couple months. Not hours or minutes,” Pope said.

If you receive an email or a phone call that seems to be suspicious in anyway, Pope suggested reporting it to Amazon. That way, the company can keep track and hopefully, put a stop to it down the road.

According to the FTC, here are some ways to avoid common tricks business impersonators use:

  • Never call phone numbers given in unexpected calls, texts, emails, or messages on social media. And don’t click any links. Those are scams.
  • If you’re worried, check it out. Go directly to the company’s website to find out how to reach them. Don’t trust the phone numbers or links that come up in search results.
  • Never give anyone remote access to your devices unless you contacted the company first (using its real number). If someone tells you to give remote access to get a refund, it’s a scam.
  • Never pay by gift card. Nobody legit will ever require you to. And never send pictures of gift cards. If someone tells you they need the numbers on the back of a gift card, it’s a scam.
  • Talk about it. If you’re getting these messages, so are people you know. Help them avoid the scam by sharing what you know.

Click here to report suspicious communications to Amazon.