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Colorado woman falls victim to Amazon scam while recovering from surgery

Posted at 10:18 PM, Nov 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-23 09:44:55-05

DENVER — As Melanie Anderson recovered from brain surgery, she relied on Amazon for her household essentials because she couldn't go to the store.

Now, she's out more than $81,000 after she said she was conned by a man who claimed to be from Amazon.

It started when she received a troubling phone call about fraud on her account and decided she needed to act quickly to resolve the issue.

Anderson said she now knows the man on the other end of the line was only claiming to be from Amazon, but at the time, he seemed to be a legitimate employee. She said he told her that he was calling from the company's fraud department.

According to Anderson, the man said there were multiple charges, including an iPhone and some PlayStation gift cards. She was convinced because she could see some of the fraudulent charges on her account.

"I could see the PlayStation gift cards that were charged to my account. I did not see an iPhone 12 yet," Anderson said. "It’s still on here, ordered on Sept. 27."

Anderson said the man gave her very specific instructions about what to do next.

"That’s when the debit card came up and he had mentioned that they have used my debit card and to where the funds were all gone, and I had mentioned that does not reflect on my bank account," Anderson said.

At this point, Anderson was panicked. She said the only thing she could think about was trying to get rid of the fraud, even if the story didn't completely make sense. The man made Anderson believe that she had to pay back Amazon and told her to begin wiring money.

"They needed to stop the hackers, and my money basically was gone however it reflected in my bank account, but Amazon was holding the funds, basically taking the hit for it until we could reverse the money," Anderson said.

Anderson said the scam was so elaborate that she thought Amazon transferred the money back to her.

"They got into an account that I had, and they transferred the money I had in there out to my own bank account, making me think they were transferring money into my account," Anderson said.

Contact Denver7 reached out to Anderson's financial institutions to see if there was any hope of getting her money back. A spokesperson with her bank said they are not able to comment on individual customers due to privacy reasons.

Anderson also used Coinbase to transfer the funds. A representative with the company said they were not able to share details about the case, but said Coinbase does not cover any losses resulting from unauthorized access to accounts due to a compromise of a customer's login credentials.

Anderson said she wanted to share her story because she doesn't want anyone else to fall victim to this scam.

"I want to make sure people are aware of these people," Anderson said. "They are hackers. They are scammers."

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