Hackers Take Over McKinney Woman's Amazon Account

Rene Lynn can't imagine a life without Amazon. Unbeknownst to her, something strange was happening to her Amazon account. 

The red flag was raised after she received nearly 250 emails from Amazon.

"I noticed they were items that had been listed for sale on Amazon," Lynn said. "This was not me. I did not set up anything to be sold on Amazon."

There were dozens of items for sale under her name. 

She logged into Amazon and realized a seller page had been added to her account. 

Lynn said she reached out to Amazon and received a reply that they'd get back to her within 24 hours. But, she never heard back.

As the emails continued to pour in, she said she started doing some research and realized she may have been a victim of fraud.

Here's how the scheme works:

  1. Hackers steal log-ins and take over an Amazon customer's account.
  2. They then add a seller account and add their bank account information to the profile.
  3. Next: The hackers advertise nonexistent merchandise, make a sale and collect the cash.

There are two sets of victims in this scheme: The primary account holder and the Amazon customer that never receives the product for which they paid.

"I needed help getting Amazon to realize what the situation was and that I have a problem," she said.

Not only was Lynn's account still being abused, but Amazon charged her $240 in seller fees. 

She called the NBC 5 Responds team to step in.

Amazon wouldn't comment on the fraudulent activity, but they said they'd work with Lynn directly.

The seller account was later taken down, and Amazon refunded Lynn the $240 it withdrew for the seller fees.

Lynn said Amazon informed her that customers did buy products listed on her account, but the company has given all of those customers their money back.  We reached out to amazon about this, but haven't received a response.

If you have an amazon account, here are some extra layers of protection:

• Change your password regularly.
• You can also set up "two-step" verification for all of your amazon accounts.  This sends a security code to your phone to verify your log in.
• watch out for third party-sellers. Check their reviews and watch out for the prices. If it seems too cheap…it could be a scam.
• If you're not getting a response back from amazon via email or call the customer service line at 888-280-4331.

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