HOUSTON (FOX 26) - It was a tough lesson, but one viewer now knows not to Google search Amazon phone numbers, and wants to warn others.
An anonymous FOX 26 viewer made a simple Amazon purchase, a set of towels costing $25. It was her first order, and she decided to return them. Being unfamiliar with the process, she didn't know you could make the return within your online account or app. Instead, she thought she needed to call them.
She Googled Amazon customer care phone numbers.
"When I Googled it, it came up with a variety of numbers," she said. "I got an official-sounding guy identifying himself as Amazon."
The man on the line convinced her to give him her Amazon password, thereby accessing all of her credit card information. Then, to "verify her identity", he told her to buy four gift cards through her Amazon account and then provide him with the numbers on the cards, and she did, losing $330 in the process.
He then asked for her Best Buy card information.
"I said no, I'm not comfortable with that," she says.
Next, he was able to view the last four digits of her American Express card in her account, and asked her to read off the full number, which she did. A fraud alert then popped up on her phone from American Express.
She immediately hung up on the scammer, and called American Express right away. They told her to contact Amazon about the fraud. However, she didn't have the correct number.
So, the cycle started all over again.
"She said she was the fraud department supervisor," the viewer says.
It was another scammer, who convinced her to go to a nearby supermarket and purchase more gift cards and provide the numbers on the back, losing another $200.
A store manager realized what was happening and alerted her to what was really going on.
Our viewer says she made some big mistakes.
"It wasn't registering as a scam to me, because I thought the numbers were legitimate," she admits.
Google and Amazon are now investigating the case, and she's working with actual Amazon representatives on the right way to return her product.