December 10th, 2019 - Telecom, Identity and Protection
By Lavinia Kennedy, Director of Product Management
Have you noticed black sprinter vans or a car full of Amazon packages in your neighborhood? This is Amazon’s own new delivery service for Prime customers. Amazon is hiring drivers to deliver packages either in the Amazon branded sprinter vans, driver’s personal cars or rented vehicles. In some places, the Amazon driver might call to notify you that your package has arrived.
As one of the largest corporations in the U.S., it’s no surprise that Amazon has been targeted by bad actors. The telephone number, 206-922-0193, is often used by the drivers to make delivery calls and is one that bad actors have taken advantage of by spoofing the telephone number. Spoofing allows you to display a phone number different than the actual number from which the call was placed. There are many legitimate reasons to spoof a telephone number like a legitimate Amazon Prime driver calling you about a delivery. The call is made from any Amazon delivery driver’s cell phone, is outbound only and doesn’t display the actual phone number of the Amazon delivery person. When you call-back the telephone number, you are instructed to call a different Amazon number.
Our crowd-source feedback shows many reported this caller ID to be a good, trustworthy number from Amazon. However, bad actors also spoof this number for nefarious reasons. TNS has received crowd-source feedback reporting phishing attempts, threatening calls, and daily harassing calls. The feedback shows these bad actors are illegally spoofing the telephone number, acting as Amazon and asking for personal information such as billing details.
Amazon is not the one placing these unwanted calls – spoofing is out of their control. An Amazon driver will not ask you for personal information. A good FCC tip to follow is never give out personal information such as account numbers, Social Security numbers, mother’s maiden names, passwords or other identifying information in response to unexpected calls or if you are at all suspicious. The best thing you can do is report it online and file a complaint with the FCC and FTC. You could also save the number to your contacts and only answer the call when you are expecting an Amazon package.
In addition to following FCC guidance, consumers can protect themselves by leveraging telecom provider robocall detection solutions powered by TNS Call Guardian. According to a Mind Commerce study, Call Guardian correctly identified spoofed numbers 98% of the time compared to only 64% for other solutions.
TNS analyzes robocall data from more than one billion daily call events across hundreds of telecom providers. Because of this volume of data, TNS extracts insights on emerging robocaller trends and tactics. While it is difficult to predict what the next major robocall scam will be, we do know this: scammers continue to rapidly evolve their tactics and targets to evade detection efforts. This means consumers must remain vigilant when it comes to suspicious incoming calls, and carriers must continue to commit to deploying innovative solutions to protect their subscribers.
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