Skip to main content

Don’t trust the ‘Amazon’ robot

Automated calls are nothing new; picking up the phone to a recorded message from a company claiming that they ‘heard’ we had an injury in the last 12 months, or that we’ve been mis-sold PPI (payment protection insurance) is a common occurrence. 

Often these automated marketing calls are used by organisations to save money on call centres; instead of getting real people to cold-calling potential clients, they can use a robot instead. Unfortunately, some unscrupulous individuals have started using automated calls to scam people into handing over their banking details.

All you need to know about vishing

Vishing, or voice phishing, is the act of convincing a recipient to disclose personal information over the phone. It’s basically exactly the same as phishing; a person that you don’t know pretends to be a company or organisation that you trust, and using some clever social engineering tricks, convinces you that they need your banking information - or any personal information. 

In some instances, vishing can be more convincing than a phishing scam; we’re all accustomed to receiving junk mail in our inboxes, but we’re less used to receiving scam calls. If you’re not aware of these types of calls, they can be much more persuasive than an easily deleted phishing email.

How does vishing work with automated calls?

Automated calls are a way to call hundreds of people very quickly, to then spend time talking to the people that respond. Vishing takes the exact same approach - for the scammers, they can save time by only speaking to people who have been taken in by their automated call. 

We recently received an automated call pertaining to be from Amazon, and it gave us the perfect opportunity to look at vishing in more detail.

How do you know if you’re talking to a visher? 

If you receive an automated call that you weren’t expecting, that’s the first red flag. Automated calls are most frequently used for marketing, and so even if the robot you’re talking to hasn’t asked you for your bank details, they’re likely trying to sell you something. 

The automated call we received stated something to the effect of, ‘An order of the iPhone 11 has been placed with your Amazon account, which Amazon believes may be a dubious transaction. Please press 1 to discuss.’ We’ve also heard of automated calls from Amazon regarding a Prime subscription, with a similar ‘press 1 to discuss’ at the end.

The main problem with this vishing call is that it doesn’t give us much to work with. With a phishing email, you can take your time reading it to figure out whether it is legitimate or not. With the Amazon vishing call, there’s very little time to decide whether or not to be connected, which works in the vishers favour. People are likely to press 1 and talk to someone before they spend a few hundred pounds on an iPhone they didn’t order.

However, just like phishing, there are some hallmarks of a scam for us to identify. Both the iPhone 11 and Prime membership are expensive transactions - which have been intentionally chosen to get the recipient to panic first, and think later. It should also be noted that the call itself is unusual - if you’ve spent money with Amazon, it’s not exactly in their best interests to ring you up and ask, ‘Are you sure?’. 

What should I do if I receive one of these calls?

We’d encourage anyone receiving these automated calls to hang up immediately. Amazon has confirmed that they do not call customers regarding payments outside of their website. We’d also advise recipients of these phone calls to check their Amazon account, and their bank account, and if there are any payments you don’t recognise, contact Amazon or your bank directly. Take the time to think before you give a cold caller any personal information - or trust a robot.

Tweet us @TranscenditUK


The Transcendit Way

Transcendit understand that when you choose to work with us, whether we're taking care of your IT, app or web development, you're trusting us with part of your business. So whether we're looking after your computers, phone systems or servers we always do things 'the Transcendit way'.

The whole of our team adhere to the same values, beliefs and policies - the principles that were written when Transcendit first formed in 2000. Whether you come to us for cloud services or recovery backup you can be confident that you'll always receive the same excellent service.

The Transcendit way outlines how we do business; following the same straightforward principles with every client and customer, regardless of how big or small they may be.

That means we get to know you and your business. We offer you a friendly, professional and efficient service, and we'll always be honest with you.
We understand that not everybody speaks fluent IT, so we try to explain things in a way that is simple and clear. We always spend as much time as is necessary explaining things to you.
If you need to talk to us about something, no matter how insignificant, we are only ever a phone call away – and we’re never too busy to make you a cup of tea and have a sit down with you in person.
We understand how frustrating it can be when things are late. When we schedule an appointment with you, we are there when you’re expecting us. If something prevents us from getting there, we always call you in advance to let you know.
Sometimes things can go wrong, but we never lie to you or try to cover something up. If things go askew we tell you what’s happened and how we plan to prevent it affecting your business.
We want you to continuously benefit from working with us. We regularly discuss your business and make suggestions for improving systems and processes wherever we can – but we never try to push you into a purchase.
When we quote a fixed price, that's always the amount we charge – you won’t find any nasty surprises on a bill from us. If you are paying by time and materials, we inform you if our approximations could change.
We understand the importance of privacy for your business and your customers. We respect the confidentiality of your data, and we will never pass on your information to third parties.
We appreciate it when you take the time to give us feedback. A system called CustomerSure records our client's responses, so you can trust that our reviews are from real people.
Find out what they're saying here.
Alan is awesome! Jo Carter

Based on 9108 reviews our customers rate us 9.8/10. Reviews and ratings by Customersure. 22-June-2020

Transcendit are proud sponsors of CHUF, the Children's Heart Unit Fund.

Transcendit is a Living Wage employer