Jean could not understand how she had ended up so out of pocket and when her efforts to get a refund stalled she came to Crusader.
It was last November that a package despatched from Amazon, where she has been a regular customer for over a decade, turned up unexpectedly at her door.
“I accepted it because I’m used to buying goods from there,” she says. “But I quickly realised it wasn’t mine. I didn’t remove any packaging and wrote to the Amazon address on the delivery note explaining the situation.”
Jean didn’t get a reply but a month later had a nasty shock when she saw her account had been debited.
“After several calls and emails Amazon agreed that I should return the laptop to one of their centres. I did that and received an acknowledgement. I also called the helpline but there’s been no refund.
“I’ve been so worried,” she says. “It was a good job there was enough money in my account, otherwise I would have faced overdraft charges.”
A delay of this length for a charge of this size seemed very strange, however, if this was just a case of a mistaken details.
And that suspicion has proved correct because while mysteries still surround what actually went on, it looks most likely fraud was at the bottom of this case, increasing the confusion.
After we asked Amazon to investigate Jean’s payment was returned, much to her relief and she also received a hamper as a goodwill gesture for the service problems she encountered when she first tried to get a resolution.
As she never made the order Amazon confirmed it was happy to refund her.
However a spokesperson advised “from time to time, customers may receive e-mails appearing to come from Amazon, which are actually false e-mails, sometimes called ‘spoof e-mails’ or ‘phishing e-mails’. These can look similar to real Amazon e-mails but often direct the recipient to a false website where they might be asked to provide account information such as their e-mail address and password combination.
“The best way to ensure that you do not respond to a false or phishing e-mail is to always go directly to your account on Amazon to review or make any changes to your orders or your account. Customers can access their account by visiting www.amazon.co.uk and clicking on the ‘Your account’ link in the top right hand corner of any page.
“We would ask any customer who believes that they have received a false or phishing email to alert us via our firstname.lastname@example.org e-mail address.”