BOISE, Idaho — As the holidays draw closer, the Boise Police Department is urging consumers to be careful of online scams.
Police say they recently investigated a case in which a "pretty convincing" scam email was sent to a local woman. The email contained an order summary for what appeared to be Amazon, although the woman had not recently purchased anything.
The fake invoice indicated that someone had spent nearly $2,500 using the woman's account, and included that the package was being delivered to an address in Alaska.
When she called the "fraud number" provided in the email, scammers on the other end convinced her that she needed to buy a $200 gift card from a local business to fix the issue, instructing her to tell the cashier she was buying it for "personal reasons."
Luckily, when the woman went into a Kuna store to buy the gift card, an employee at the business was able to recognize that it was a scam. The employee was able to show the woman BPD's scam prevention card and talk her out of making the transaction.
"It's important to always look for key details when you receive an email like this," Boise Police wrote. "In this case the name of the sender is amazn shop instead of Amazon and the email address is misspelled, filled with numbers, and sent from a generic email server instead of the actual website."
In addition, a legitimate company will not ask someone to buy a gift card to resolve an issue, the department said. Consumers can protect themselves by avoiding clicking any links in a suspicious email, and contacting the company's customer service directly to see if there is an actual fraudulent order.
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