Scam phone call. Gave no info but I pressed "1" like an idiot. Now what?
January 22, 2021 11:44 AM   Subscribe

I just got a robocall (UGH HELLO FIRST CLUE WHERE IS MY BRAIN TODAY) about "suspicious activity" on my Amazon account. They asked me to press 1 to talk to customer service. I did, because sometimes you just aren't thinking. How much trouble am I in?

I answered a call from a phone number I didn't recognize, which I *never* do so I don't know why I did it today. It was a robocall telling me about "suspicious activity" -- someone was trying to establish accounts online with my Amazon account... immediate red flag and yet "Press 1 to speak to customer service" and I did. Once I got connected, I could tell it was a scam (too late) and gave them no info, but I answered my phone and got connected to their scammy call center. Once the guy who was telling me there were all these different emails trying to establish themselves with my Amazon account asked if I could just sync one of my devices for him... I hung up.

What do I do now? How much trouble am I in at this point? He confirmed my name and street address without me giving him any info, and obviously just picking up the phone confirmed my phone number.

AUGH.

(Wasn't sure what category best fit this question -- internet? money? educataion, as in "learn from my unbelievably dumb mistake?")

What are my next steps?
posted by tzikeh to Technology (14 answers total)
 
Literally nothing has happened to you. You're fine.
posted by bowbeacon at 11:46 AM on January 22 [21 favorites]


You didn’t give them any data, so the absolute worst thing they can do is mark your number as “working”.
posted by Seeking Direction at 11:47 AM on January 22 [20 favorites]


Yeah, I've occasionally done that just to see who I end up with on the other end of the phone. There will be no consequences to that, except MAYBE more spam calls. Nothing has ever changed the number of spam calls I get either way.
posted by gideonfrog at 11:50 AM on January 22 [7 favorites]


I press 1 if I have free time, hoping to find some scam artist on the phone that I can spend a few minutes demoralizing. There's no cost to you having done that except a tiny chance you get moved up a list as someone who might respond to a spam call.
posted by Nelson at 12:00 PM on January 22 [2 favorites]


I press 1 all the time when I get spam calls while I’m driving. I make the operators listen to bleep bloop spacey synth music until they hang up.

Agreed that fully nothing has happened to you.
posted by furnace.heart at 12:19 PM on January 22 [6 favorites]


Literally all the information that they have is that "Hey, this is a valid phone number for a human being". The worst thing that could happen is that you may have an uptick in robocalls for a while.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:34 PM on January 22 [5 favorites]


Next time, tell them you hope to talk with them when you have more time, and try to get a phone number to call them back. Then send that phone number to ... someone.
posted by amtho at 12:45 PM on January 22


Next time, tell them you hope to talk with them when you have more time, and try to get a phone number to call them back. Then send that phone number to ... someone.

Oh, once the guy said "so we need to sync one of your devices" I immediately interrupted with "I have no proof that you are calling from Amazon so that's not happening unless you give me a phone number" and when there was no response I hung up.

I knew what it was once I heard his pitch; I was just concerned that the fact that I pressed "1" somehow did something worse. All the anti-fraud sites say "DON'T PRESS 1," so I got freaked out and came here.

Thanks everybody!
posted by tzikeh at 12:56 PM on January 22 [1 favorite]


I *always* press 1, and ask to talk to their DB administrator, because clearly they screwed up.
posted by spinifex23 at 1:08 PM on January 22 [2 favorites]


When I got a call like this, I called and reported it to Amazon Customer Service. That way, it was on the record, and they even sent me an email summarizing our conversation. The CS rep also told me that Amazon never calls its customers.
posted by elphaba at 1:51 PM on January 22


Almost nothing. They may mark your number as "active" and spam you some more. That's about it.
posted by kschang at 4:59 PM on January 22


All the anti-fraud sites say "DON'T PRESS 1," so I got freaked out and came here.

The reason they say not to press 1 is because if people do, they get connected to a call centre operative who has a non-zero chance of convincing them that their scam is legit. Don't Press 1 is a simple, clear rule. People like simple, clear rules. But merely talking to a scammer who has called your phone number doesn't magically give that scammer the keys to your kingdom. If it did, there would be no need for the spiel.

So, no need to freak out. Instead, give yourself some points for having and implementing completely sound policy about device sync requested by cold callers.

My own simple, clear rule is never, never, never make any attempt to authenticate my own identity to somebody who contacts me. Anybody with a legitimate need to find out whether or not I am who I claim to be can give me the name of their organization and their job title.

If it's an org that I have an existing business relationship with, I will call it back on the public number I already have on file for it (not on any allegedly "direct line" number supplied by the caller) and ask to speak to the person with that job title. If it's not, then the conversation ends right there.
posted by flabdablet at 5:17 AM on January 23 [1 favorite]


flabdablet, my bank calls me when I tell it a debit card charge was not mine, and they ask me to authenticate my identity. It's happened twice that I remember, and both times it was a call from a number I didn't recognize. I really really hate it, but both times it has resulted in a hold on the dubious charge and a replaced debit card. So far so good.
posted by Peach at 1:41 PM on January 23


my bank calls me when I tell it a debit card charge was not mine, and they ask me to authenticate my identity. It's happened twice that I remember, and both times it was a call from a number I didn't recognize.

That happened to me too, so I asked the person who called me for a case number, then told them I'll be hanging up now and calling them back for security reasons. They were completely fine with that because they were not a scammer. So then I called the bank back on the number I have on file for it, went through the standard process for authenticating myself on a phone banking call, explained the situation, quoted the case number and got transferred back to the person I was talking to before.

Yes, it's inconvenient. No, I will never never never do this any other way.
posted by flabdablet at 8:09 PM on January 23


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