MELROSE — Chief Michael Lyle and the Melrose Police Department wish to warn residents of a scam reported today involving people claiming to work for Amazon.
A Melrose resident reported receiving a call on Monday, Dec. 9, from a woman who claimed to work for Amazon. The caller asked the resident if she had ordered a $700 computer to be sent to Texas. When the resident said she had not, she was told she was being transferred to the Amazon Fraud Department.
The resident then spoke to a male individual, who directed her to download an app called CashApp so that her refund could be processed.
After following the directions and making an account, the resident shared her CashApp account and password, which was tied to her bank account, and almost immediately she started to receive notifications that CashApp was taking money out of her account and sending money to people she did not know.
The resident was also instructed to send a picture of her driver’s license through another app, which she deleted before reporting the incident to Melrose Police.
Amazon will not reach out by phone if there is a purchase that seems questionable, so any such call should be treated as a scam.
“These scam calls often come from career criminals who can sound very convincing, so it is important to never give out any personal or financial information to callers you do not know,” Chief Lyle said. “Anyone who believes they have been the victim of a scam should freeze your accounts immediately and contact law enforcement.”
To help people protect themselves from similar scams, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) offers several tips on its website, including:
- Do not take calls from unknown numbers.
- Do not share personal, identifying information like Social Security numbers, account numbers, or mother’s maiden names.
- If a caller claims to represent an organization and you are doubtful, hang up and contact that agency to verify whether the call was truly from a representative.
- Caller ID is not always accurate. A call from a “local” number might not be coming from a local person or organization.
- Never pay a caller using a gift card or prepaid credit card.
- Be wary of callers who talk quickly and pressure you to make a decision quickly.
- Do not send cash by messenger, overnight mail, or money transfer. If you pay for a product or service with cash or a money transfer, you run a risk of losing the right to dispute fraudulent charges.
- Report rude or abusive callers, even if you already sent them money, by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP or by visiting ftc.gov/complaint.
For questions about scam prevention, please call the Melrose Police Department directly at 781-665-1212.