Everyone admires Amazon’s scale, and scammers are no exception. Recently, they’ve been piggybacking on Amazon’s reach and name to pull off a scam that’s already taken in thousands of innocent victims.

Here’s all you need to know about the Amazon watch raffle scam:

How the scam plays out

In the scam, the target receives a text message that appears to be from Amazon.  It tells them they’ve won an Apple Watch, or a similar prize, such as Airpods or a Garmin fitness watch.

If the victim clicks on the embedded link, they’ll land on a page asking them to provide their personal information. Alternatively, clicking the link may download malware onto the victim’s device.

Red flags

It is important to note that Amazon will never ask a consumer for their personal information or for remote access to a device.

Familiarize yourself with the red flags that can help you spot when you’ve been targeted by an Amazon watch raffle scam or similar ruse:

  • The text message includes an unusual link.
  • The text message promises an instant and/or large reward.
  • The text message urges you to act now.
  • The text message appears to be sent from Amazon, but you never signed up to receive text messages from them.

To avoid the scam

Follow these precautions to avoid the Amazon watch raffle scam.

  • If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is. 
  • Never click on a link sent in a message from an unverified number.
  • If you've already clicked on the link, you may want to do a security sweep on your device for viruses and malware.
  • Never respond to suspicious-looking text messages. Block the number. 
  • If you receive a text message that appears to be from Amazon, update the login credentials of your Amazon account.
  • Check Amazon's scam information page to help you verify the authenticity of the message.

Do your part to stop these scammers by reporting all scam attempts to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Better Business Bureau or stop-spoofing@amazon.com. To report a phone call or text message visit ftc.gov/complaint and follow the onscreen assistant.  You can also warn your friends and family about the circulating scam.

Stay safe!