Despite many social media posts online, retail giant Amazon says the claim that it has begun a presale of its own cryptocurrency tokens is fake.
A Facebook post from December 27, 2021 that has since been removed said, “The Amazon Token payment system will facilitate a more accessible, more connected global financial system”. A similar post on Facebook says, “The ‘Amazon Token’ Presale Has Started”, along with a photo of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos linked to the purported “official Amazon Token” site. All these have been proven fake.
Users may see a site that contains genuine-looking Amazon logos and offers free Amazon Prime memberships for purchasers while others clicking on links received a browser warning about a potentially malicious site.
On January 3, 2022, Amazon said that it has no cryptocurrency token and that claims to the contrary are part of a scam. “We take any attempts to misuse our brand seriously. We maintain a site to assist customers in identifying phishing attempts, including fake webpages. Amazon investigates these complaints and uses them to protect customers and hold the bad actors accountable”, a company spokesperson said.
“We have found that these new scams are very effective, yielding over USD $100,000. Over 300 Avast users have been protected from the scam in the past week”, said a December 14, 2021 blog post by Avast, which has noted a proliferation of scams seeking to lure consumers to a so-called Amazon Token.
Avast said the scheme appeared to be an effort to potentially steal personal information for malicious purposes and swindle people out of other cryptocurrencies. “These offers are propagating through malicious advertisements that imitate legitimate news sites and rely on rumors that have been around since July 2021 that Amazon will be offering Tokens for sale”, they said.
According to Avast, the fraudulent posts have appeared in more than a dozen countries and have come amid growing interest in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. Amazon has not indicated any participation in a new cryptocurrency, unlike Facebook that has been involved in an effort to launch a global digital coin known as Diem.
In July 2021, in response to a report that it could begin accepting cryptocurrency payments, Amazon indicated it was studying how it might use cryptocurrency but had no specific plans.