News & Articles

Watch out! Amazon Gift Card Scams About



The cyber threat and cyber security landscape is always changing. So it should come as no surprise that there is a new type of phishing scam on the loose. Amazon gift card scams consist of a “colleague” asking you to buy them an Amazon gift card and send them the voucher codes. It’s certainly not the first Amazon-related scam to date – popular ones include fake confirmation emails or emails offering you a discount. However, it’s certainly smarter than most phishing attempts. Here’s why.


They take advantage of social engineering tactics

A smart Amazon gift card scam will often approach you on social media, typically LinkedIn or Facebook. Using these platforms makes it easy for them to impersonate someone you trust within the company. You might get a message from your boss saying that they’re in a meeting with a new client and they urgently need you to buy a £500 Amazon voucher to close the deal. Your boss is saying that the accounts department isn’t available to approve the purchase, so you have no choice but to foot the bill yourself. Plenty of unsuspecting employees might fall for this. After all, it is your boss, and you don’t want to say no.

The reality here is that a scammer managed to gather enough information on both the target and the target’s boss to create both a fake profile and a plausible message. We’ll get to some specific methods for overcoming Amazon gift card attacks in due course. But first, let’s remind ourselves of a few things.


Amazon gift card attacks exhibit signs of phishing


1. Urgent action needed

The above example and most likely any other gift card scam will attempt to get you to act before your common sense kicks in. Granted, the reason for urgency might be somewhat plausible. But still, if you ever receive a message asking you for urgent action – especially if it involves money or your personal details – then you should stop and question its validity.


2. It’s an unusual contact method 

The gift card scam outlined above is carried out via social media. Would you ever expect your boss to contact you via this method? This will vary from business to business, but this would be abnormal for most. This “unusual contact” method extends to any other communication channel: a different email address, an out of the blue text, etc. If the message is on a new channel and feels out of the blue, then it could easily be a scam.




3. You’re being asked for something unreasonable  

Let’s be honest, who actually asks for someone to rapidly purchase an expensive gift card out of the blue? Yes, some bosses can ask a lot from their employees. But by and large, it’s unreasonable to spend a large sum of money at such short notice, in a professional context. 




How to avoid Amazon Gift Card Scams


1. Always check 

Send a quick note via the usual communication channel to your boss or whoever is supposedly asking for an Amazon gift card. If it’s a scam you should get a firm confirmation that they didn’t authorise anything.


2. Don’t put too much personal info on social media

The more a scammer knows about both your work and personal life, the better they can craft a plausible message. Make sure that your public information gives as little away as possible about your personal and work life. Keep it to top-level; details like your name, education, employment history, etc.


3. Only connect with social media profiles that you know

Profiles that are unfamiliar or where you can’t confidently say who’s behind them will always pose a threat to your security. There’s usually little point in connecting with complete strangers so unless you can give a good reason as to why you’re connecting, hit that ignore button.

As mentioned, this Amazon gift card scam is another example of phishing. At Support Tree, we can educate your team on what phishing looks like and regularly test them so that they can spot any type of phishing a mile off. Both email security awareness and other cybersecurity technologies will improve your cyber security position.


Want to learn how we to stay secure and protect your business from cyber attacks? Call, email or submit your details below and let’s have a talk. Lets see how your business can become the best!