Thursday, April 24, 2014

Keep an eye on your Amazon account!

When I checked my e-mail the other day, I had a message from Amazon saying, "Your order has shipped." That would be awesome - if I had placed an order. Looking at the account revealed a pair of Beats Studio headphones going out to a Daniel Drecker in Indiana. 

I contacted Amazon and said that I don't know a Daniel Drecker, I've never been to Indiana, and I certainly don't want to send him a $300 pair of headphones.

Anyway, Amazon investigated, and it turns out this guy chatted with them giving my e-mail address. He somehow figured out that I have ordered Beats Studio headphones in the past and persuaded them to send a replacement order to him.

If I hadn't been alert, I wouldn't have realized this until Amazon started asking me why I didn't return the broken pair.

Amazon stopped the shipment, removed his shipping address and the fraudulent order from my account, and I changed my password. I also contacted the website ic3.gov where you can report Internet-related crime.

Today, I got a message from Amazon saying, "I'm writing to follow up on our recent chat conversation. I've forwarded your inquiry to our Account Specialist Support team regarding to reinstate the replacement order. You should hear back from them by 24 - 48 hours."

Again?

Seriously?

I said, "Oh no you don't" and sent a message to Amazon to let them know he's trying again.

To be fair, Drecker might be an innocent third party used as a shipping address. He might not be involved in all this at all. He might not even be a real person. For all these reasons I decided not to post his name, address, phone number, and so on the first time all this happened.

If you try to defraud me twice in a week you're making me mad.

Also, if you attempt to defraud someone and the shipment is stopped, you've clearly been discovered. Doesn't it seem stupid to try again?

This time I changed the e-mail address associated with my account, updated the complaint at ic3.gov, and called my local Sheriff's office. I didn't know what to expect, on TV American police seem kinda scary, bit it was a pleasant surprise. The guy who answered was awesome.

He had a pleasant phone voice and took me seriously. He was kind, calm, filled with good advice, and clearly someone to hide behind when the bad guys close in. My only regret is that I can't remember his name.

Moral of the story? Keep an eye on your accounts!

Besides all this real life stuff, I'm sure you've seen Internet memes like this:


Daniel Drecker in Indiana is now scheduled to be an annoying side-character in a book. He's not worthy of main character status, but he will definitely be in there. The nice man at the Sheriff's office will model the hero, of course, and I'm thinking of making up a crime syndicate for him to battle.

Besides giving fuel for my imagination, Drecker is an annoying little twirp. It doesn't matter if he's really in his 50s and six feet tall; he's still a little twirp.

Has something like this ever happened to you? If so, what did you do?

2 comments:

  1. I just spent some time dealing with this same scam - same person, same address. I even looked the address up on Google Maps to see what it looks like.

    I know how he got the email address he used for my Amazon account. I post an email address to my Amazon reviews that's close to my ordering address.

    The thing is, this isn't the same address I use to order from Amazon, so I'm not sure how or why Amazon let the guy continue on with his fraud? Also, they let him add an address to MY account, despite not getting any verification other than a chat exchange with my email address and billing address. If I try to put an address on my account while ordering, I have to go through and put my credit card information in - yet this ass hat was able to pull it off with far less information?

    And he requested a replacement, not place an order. Apparently he wants Grand Theft Auto V but doesn't want to pay for it. He knows I bought it because I reviewed it, and Amazon is sure happy to tell people I ordered from them. Amazon Verified Purchase.

    He had my billing address. I have no idea where he got that from though, which is what bothers me the most right now.

    Good news is, Amazon has my account under Fraud Review and they assure me I won't be responsible for any charges associated with this. Bad part is, I have no idea how he got my billing address and no clue why Amazon let him get away with something so easy to prevent on their part.

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    1. That's amazing, how can the same person be allowed to do exactly the same thing again? And I agree, how do they let someone add a shipping address via chat when it's so hard to do it from the account? I can't believe they haven't blacklisted his address.

      I'm really bummed that Amazon doesn't offer any way to add account protection.

      Keep an eye on your account. In my case he tried again a few days after he was discovered. He might do the same to you. :(

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