If you received a text message purportedly from Amazon, chances are you are one of many and it is a scam. Over March and April 2021, many Snopes readers told us they received messages on their phones claiming they had won an AirPod or another device in a raffle.
One of our editors also received the message, which said: “Amazon: Congratulations Bond, you came second in this week’s Amazon pods raffle! Follow this link to […]”
She did not follow that link, however, because this appeared right away to be a scam.
Indeed, the link did not connect to an official Amazon webpage. According to Amazon, all of its web pages normally follow the same format, ending in amazon.com, for example: pay.amazon.com or aws.amazon.com. Any link that is an IP address or a random string of numbers should be automatically suspicious.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) alerted users to this scam back in March. It warned that if you get a text message from a range of unknown numbers and with a suspicious link for collecting your item:
Don’t click! The text message is not from Amazon and it is the latest in a long list of impersonation scams that have been happening since the start of the pandemic, often using Amazon’s brand. The bogus raffle and suspicious link are part of a con used to trick people into visiting a phishing website, where they unwittingly share account credentials as well as personal and financial information with fraudsters.
According to Amazon, any customer who receives a questionable email, text or call from a person impersonating Amazon or an Amazon employee should report them to Amazon customer service. Amazon investigates these complaints and will take action, if warranted. You can submit suspicious information to firstname.lastname@example.org. Amazon also offers a page to help identify if an email, text or phone call is really from Amazon.
BBB also included a screenshot of a message similar to the one received by our editor, except the recipient was told that they came “third” in the raffle. When our editor reported the number that texted her to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), it recommended a number of tips to block spam messages. The tips can be read here.
Given that the link to collecting the so-called prize does not direct us to an official Amazon website, and it could potentially share your private information, we rate this claim a “Scam.”