Financial Scams Are Becoming More Common, Especially This One

November 6, 2020

Scammers claim to represent Amazon, Apple or other Businesses

Financial scams are prevalent in every season, but with the holidays approaching and more people shopping online, scams can occur more often. As always, the best way to protect yourself from any scam is to be aware and diligent with your personal information, and never allow anyone else to access your accounts or devices.

One scam in particular has started to show up more frequently. In this scam, a person posing as a representative of a business such as Amazon, Apple or American Express, contacts the victim through email, text or from a phone call. The scammer explains that fraud has occurred on the victim’s account, Amazon Prime membership or similar. The victim is instructed to download an app, sometimes called “Quick Support,” in order to recover the funds. The app gives the scammer access to the victim’s device.

When the victim logs into the account, the scammer is able to see the screen and get into the account. The scammer distracts the victim with “confirmation numbers” to write down. With the victim’s attention away from the screen, the scammer uses the victim’s funds to purchase gift cards. In some cases, the scammer moves funds from the victim’s linked accounts, like savings or money markets, into the checking account in order to spend even more of the victim’s money. A victim’s accounts can very quickly be wiped completely clean.

Remember not to trust anyone asking for access to your accounts, and never download any app requested. It’s best to hang up, delete the text or email, and contact the business or financial institution to verify any claims of fraud.

Preventing Scams Like This

A scammer will often make claims that are likely to cause the victim to become alarmed. The scammer takes advantage of the victim’s semi-panicked and compromised state, and explains how to solve the issue. It’s important not to trust whatever someone who contacts you claims. And never take action on those claims.

Always be suspicious of anyone with whom you didn’t initiate contact, especially someone who tells you something about your accounts and requests action from you. Scammers are very clever and convincing, and recovering funds lost this way is generally impossible.

Someone who has been victim to a financial scam

Scam at a Glance

What It Is

  • A scammer poses as a representative of a common business.
  • You’re told there is fraud on your account.
  • You’re instructed to download an app.
  • The app allows the scammer to access your device and accounts.

What To Do

  • Disconnect immediately.
  • Call your financial institution using a trusted number. Report to them what happened.


  • Don’t believe that people who contact you are who they claim to be.
  • Don’t believe what they tell you.
  • Never download an app you’re told to or comply with any of their instructions.

For more tips on preventing scams, visit The Summit’s Fraud Prevention Center.

Cynthia Kolko, The Summit Federal Credit Union