Amazon account breached, how to deal with aftermath?
July 9, 2020 11:00 PM   Subscribe

My brother did not have any alerts on his credit card. Last week someone accessed his Amazon account, changed the email, ordered a very nice laptop, archived the order to hide it, had UPS change the delivery address, and when it was delivered today changed email back.

Brother only noticed tonight when he was paying the credit card bill.
He did the online credit card dispute, and called to cancel the card.
He had a chat with amazon, got the tracking number. Amazon did not quite understand it was an account hack, wants him to call back in a few days if he does not get the package.
He is changing all his passwords to be unique, using keepass now.

Amazon search history shows various laptops.
We searched Amazon orders for "laptop" which found the archived order. UPS tracking shows the city and name who signed for it this afternoon. City is a few hundred miles away, same state. A google of the name + city yields only one family, the adult son has a criminal record.

He is going to file a police report tomorrow morning. Bringing all the printouts and a listing of the facts of the case.

Anything else to do so that he does not get stuck with an expensive credit card bill? Things to bring up with the police? Preservation of evidence letter sent to Amazon for the order's IP address?
posted by Sophont to Law & Government (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
It may be worth calling Amazon again and trying for a different representative. (also, ensuring you have very clear talking points prepared for this confusing situation).

My concern is that the CC dispute could go wrong if Amazon believes it was a valid order, sent with card on file to address on file. These CC disputes are handled by folks at your bank who may or may not perform a careful review of all available evidence.
posted by whisk(e)y neat at 12:28 AM on July 10, 2020 [2 favorites]

The bank cares WAY more about fraud than Amazon. He shouldn't have to worry about any charges after talking to them.
posted by tiny frying pan at 4:27 AM on July 10, 2020 [4 favorites]

Best answer: He needs to get on the phone with the fraud department at his credit card bank. Don't cancel the credit card--just block this card and ask for a new card number. Canceling the credit card is going to 1 cause problems for any of the fixing on this and 2 is bad for his credit score and will cripple his ability to get future credit.

This is very very annoying but totally not a big deal at all, on the credit card side. He should just keep contacting Amazon live chat until he gets someone who understands what he's saying. I have found the live chat support folks to be either very hit or very miss.

Amazon has a 2 factor auth (OTP option in settings)--he should turn that on. PayPal does as well, if he uses PayPal.
posted by phunniemee at 4:33 AM on July 10, 2020 [4 favorites]

He should also figure out exactly what happened with UPS and lock that down so it can't be repeated. If they were able to change the delivery address, they have access to an account associated with his address, and/or may have access to his email.
posted by teremala at 6:05 AM on July 10, 2020 [1 favorite]

There are jurisdictional issues with police - in addition to a local police report he should file a police report in the city the laptop was delivered.
posted by saucysault at 9:40 AM on July 10, 2020 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: teremala, looks like it's quick to make a new UPS account using a different email, then as long as you have the tracking number you can change the delivery address. No way to lock it down.
posted by Sophont at 9:40 AM on July 10, 2020

Best answer: Anything else to do so that he does not get stuck with an expensive credit card bill?

He does not have to pay this, disputing it especially if there is a police report will make this go away unless there is something super sketchy going on.

Agreed, I would not have cancelled this CC account but if it's water under the bridge just move forward. If he wants to keep that Amazon account, I'd actually move to talk to their fraud department, assuming that exists and is accessible, and not just treat this like it's a missing package. Is there some reason Amazon doesn't understand this was a hack? The only thing I'd do at this point besides what is already happening is calling Amazon back, much more forcefully, and explaining that his account was hacked, that he's locked the account down, and that he's reported it to the police.
posted by jessamyn at 10:16 AM on July 10, 2020 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: update: - Card was not cancelled, it was blocked and is getting a new number.
Visited police station and got a case number. They will handle communication with other city.
He talked on the phone with Amazon, gave the case number, went over what happened. It's been forwarded to the fraud department, so it looks hopeful.
posted by Sophont at 7:42 PM on July 10, 2020 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: update - losing hope, as everyone involved, from bank to Amazon, to local police seem to not be doing anything. Police did not pass the case onto the other precinct. Trying to follow up with other precinct directly. Amazon says he can't talk to the fraud department directly, multiple calls result in promises of callbacks never fulfilled. Bank is waiting to hear back from Amazon, charge is still on the account.
posted by Sophont at 4:51 PM on August 12, 2020

Response by poster: Last update, amazing good news. Bank made the temporary credit permanent, sent him a letter. So it looks like he won't be responsible for payment.
Still have not heard back from Amazon. Took over 2.5 months for local police to send the case paperwork to the other precinct. 2 weeks after promised date still no case number from the other precinct (city where laptop was delivered)
posted by Sophont at 1:53 PM on October 12, 2020 [1 favorite]

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