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Amazon, Microsoft and India Authorities Crack Down on Impersonation Scams

Amazon and Microsoft have joined forces to protect consumers from impersonation scams, marking the first time these industry leaders have collaborated to combat tech support fraud.

Recently, Amazon, Microsoft, and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in India took action against perpetrators of technology support fraud, according to an Amazon blog post on Thursday (Oct. 19).

CBI conducted multiple criminal raids on illegal call centers in India that were impersonating Microsoft and Amazon customer support. These call centers targeted over 2,000 Amazon and Microsoft customers primarily in the U.S., as well as in Australia, Canada, Germany, Spain, and the U.K.

“We are pleased to join forces with Microsoft, and we believe actionable partnerships like these are critical in helping protect consumers from impersonation scams,” said Kathy Sheehan, vice president and associate general counsel, Business Conduct & Ethics. “We cannot win this fight alone. We encourage others in the industry to join us as a united front against criminal activity.”

In 2022, Amazon initiated takedowns of more than 20,000 phishing websites and 10,000 phone numbers used in impersonation schemes, according to its post.

Amazon advises customers to view their authentic order and communication history directly on the Amazon website or app. They emphasize that Amazon will never ask for payment over the phone or email, only through their official channels.

Retail call centers are the front line of consumer queries and the favorite new target for identity fraud, PYMNTS reported last January.

Daniel Flowe, head of identity strategy at Refinitiv, told PYMNTS that while the majority of consumers still want — and like — to speak to a human, that preference is being regularly abused and targeted by fraudsters and con artists.

“There’s tremendous pressure to get [call centers] staffed, to get people hired, get them trained quickly, and get them on the phone so that they can satisfy that customer demand,” Flowe said, noting the confluence of shorter job tenure and reduced training periods has combined to make call and contact centers more vulnerable to fraudsters.