RANT – Amazon Local / Starbucks SCAM – BEWARE!

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  • #610006

    Kevin
    Participant

    I received a rather innocent sounding Amazon Local (I receive them daily) “deal” bundled with other offers, offering a “FREE” two for one offer claiming that I could purchase a pastry item AFTER 2PM from participating Starbucks stores and get the second item for FREE.

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    ALARM bells immediately went off, when I attempted to print out the “free coupon” and was directed to the Amazon Local web site, which requested my Amazon login AND credit card number to get the “FREE” coupon!

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    So much for the “FREE” pastry…

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    Per WSB rules:

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    Calls to both Starbucks and Amazon were courteously handled, however BOTH vendors denied knowledge of any such offer, and strongly suggested that I keep my credit card in my wallet.

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    As the old saying goes – there is NO such thing as a free lunch. Be careful out there.

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    #802009

    anonyme
    Participant

    That’s not the only scam involving Amazon. Last week I placed an order with Amazon, and received the usual email confirmation. A few hours later, I got another “confirmation” which, on the face of it, closely resembled the other. On closer examination, there was no actual order information in the body of the message, just a hint that further action was required on the order with an invitation to click on a link. Nor was the URL an Amazon address. The scary thing is that it was either a bizarre coincidence that I rec’d this spam right after placing an order – OR, hackers are tracking personal activity.

    I recently had to cancel another email account after submitting the address to a website recommended by another WSB’er. Lesson learned.

    #802010

    Mnoperiod
    Member

    On the deal page:

    http://local.amazon.com/seattle/B00HDP5532?src=email&cid=em_dd_981_101_na_s1_&ref_=pe_628140_102195600

    it specifically says:

    “Amazon.com account with valid credit card required to get this coupon”

    The fact that people on the phone weren’t aware of the deal only speaks to how little communication occurs between the marketing dept and customer service.

    #802011

    Kevin
    Participant

    @Mnoperiod – YES, I read the fine print too, but WHY should I have to have an Amazon account and a credit card to get a buy one get one free offer?

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    I fully agree about the lack of communication link between marketing and customer service communications.

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    I think the next step is an email to the Seattle Times, as this is not just a West Seattle issue.

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    This hits a little too close to home to the recent Target security breach issue.

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    #802012

    dhg
    Participant

    Not only is it legitimate, but its good every day until the 29th! They want you to be a registered user, they want you to have a valid credit card, because they are interested in selling you other products. They run it through a process just like a sale because they want you to get used to the idea that you’re going to buy things from them. It is not a scam, it is nothing that anyone needs to beware of. It is not a scam. Far from it. If you want to ring the bells and alert everyone, you’ll have to find something better than this.

    #802013

    wssort
    Member

    It is legit, can’t blame you for being wary though.

    #802014

    wsn00b
    Participant

    The offer is legit. The only thing that was odd is a misinformed customer service rep.

    The credit card request is probably there to enforce a one customer per coupon limitation; otherwise you can create multiple free accounts and get loaded on them pastries :) . Plus what dhg said above.

    Pretty legit; not a scam. Relax.

    #802015

    Duskyviolet
    Participant

    Kevin, it’s the holidays and Amazon and Starbucks are actually trying to give you something for FREE! I’ve used other free coupons from Amazon Local and they have never been a scam nor have I ever been disappointed. You really are looking a gift horse in the mouth…

    I plan on using my coupon the day after Christmas to re-up my sugar load.

    Are you seriously comparing this to the Target security breach?

    Merry Christmas!!!

    #802016

    metrognome
    Participant

    I heard Amazon was going to start delivering piping hot Starbuck’s via drone service; will that include pastries?

    (tongue firmly implanted in cheek …)

    #802017

    Kevin
    Participant

    Just a quick update from the local corporate titans. A classic “he said,she said” situation.

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    Amazon responded with the following email:

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    “Hi Kevin,

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    I’m sorry for any misunderstanding regarding the Coupon for “Buy One Starbucks Food Item Get One Free After 2:00 p.m.” I can assure you, this is a valid deal.

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    We use your credit card solely for the purpose of completing the transaction. You won’t be charged for clicking the “Apply Code” button on Amazon Local for this deal.

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    If you have any other questions, we’re happy to help you over the phone. Our customer service associates can be reached at 866-395-2090. We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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    You can also refer to our Help pages here:

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    https://www.local.amazon.com/help

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    We look forward to assisting you.

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    I hope this helps.

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    Kind Regards,”

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    Meanwhile, Starbuck’s media relations department cautioned me to keep my CC in my wallet:

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    “Hello Kevin,

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    Thank you for contacting Starbucks.

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    This does not appear to be a Starbucks-sponsored promotion, so I would caution against accepting the offer in question as we cannot guarantee its validity. There is a chance it is an unauthorized promotion, and I would hate for you to become involved in anything Starbucks has not approved.

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    If you ever have any questions or concerns in the future, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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    Sincerely,

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    I patronize both companies, but in this case I think I will do my waist line a favor, and pass on the “free” treats :)

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    #802018

    miws
    Participant

    Hmmmmmm…..maybe this investment Jeff Bezos and Howard Schultz were each part of a couple years ago went south, and they’re using innocent Customers as pawns in a battle with each other? ;-)

    Mike

    #802019

    metrognome
    Participant

    Kevin — you’re right, this is classic; you should send the responses to the other guys and see if their heads explode. I bet Jesse Jones would be rolling on the floor laughing if you sent it to him.

    Also sounds like a skit Saturday Night Live would do (‘Pastries, we don’t have no stinkin’ free pastries!’ or the classic Belushi ‘cheeseburger’ or samurai skit.)

    thanks for sharing.

    #802020

    wsn00b
    Participant

    I went ahead and got this. Thanks for the ad on the forum :)

    Sounds like you stumbled into a confused person at Starbucks that played into fears of a big bad corporation asking for your CC (which based on your last post of “I patronize both companies” implies that Amazon already had your credit card#.).

    Should’ve smelled the trolling in the OP but couldn’t over other yummy homemade holiday pastries.

    Merry Christmas!

    #802021

    JanS
    Participant

    I still don’t get how one company can have a special with another company, and that other company has no knowledge about it? These deals happen out here all the time…I’m betting the powers that be at Starbucks would say yes it exists if someone dug far enough. But the higher ups are on vacation in Mexico or Hawaii at this time of year…

    #802022

    miws
    Participant

    Should’ve smelled the trolling in the OP….

    wsn00b, Alluding that Kevin is a troll is a cheap shot.

    It appears that you’ve been participating in the Forums for over a year now, and it seems that you should know by now that Kevin is a regular contributor, and an asset to the WSB community.

    Merry Christmas to you!

    Mike

    #802023

    Kevin
    Participant

    @metrognome – took your suggestion on both counts. It will be interesting to see what the corporate giants have to say. I personally think Howard and Jeff need to have a conference call?

    #802024

    borris
    Participant

    Ok, I am one of the stupid ones who should (and usually does)know better. I, too, got another “confirmation” email from Amazon perhaps like what anonyme describes.

    Since I have also received confirmation emails from hotels with the reservation details as attachments, and I was really tired, I clicked on the Amazon attachment and downloaded it.

    Fortunately, I realized while it was downloading what a stupid thing I had just done, but it was downloaded. Fortunately, I never opened or launched the download (an .exe file).

    BUT, since downloading this I get a error box at start-up saying that something “msabaokke.exe” is either missing or needs to be reinstalled in the registry (or something to that effect… I’m working on another computer since I don’t trust mine anymore for the time being).

    Then when I click on that box and it goes away, another error box comes up and says something to the effect of “cannot find application “0x800106ba” (the two codes are exactly what it says, I just didn’t write down all the other words).

    I’ve run system checks, etc. and it comes up with nothing bad. Everything seems to be working ok, but I have not logged onto any site since this happened (not using any passwords, etc), have backed up all my stuff.

    Anyone else had this? Anyone know what to do?

    #802025

    miws
    Participant

    borris, it might not hurt to Google the content of those error messages.

    I’ve done so with error messages in the past, and as I recall was pretty successful in being led to forums and such that address the particular problem associated with the error message content.

    Only thing is, some of the solutions are in tech-speak, so may hard or impossible to decipher, for those of us that are non-techies.

    However, I seem to recall success on a few occasions.

    Mike

    #802026

    GenHillOne
    Participant

    Wow, this seems like a lot of brew-ha-ha. I’m sorry you got an uninformed response, Kevin, and borris, well, I don’t know what you got…but did anyone actually GO to Amazon’s website and see if it was an actual Amazon Local offering? You can always go check it out without clicking on a link. I get Amazon Local emails as well and thought all this was strange because mine appeared to come from the same email address as the others. It was the real deal – http://preview.tinyurl.com/n3p6kbs

    (I put the link in preview mode in case anyone might think I’m passing along some other nefarious bug ;))

    #802027

    wsn00b
    Participant

    Like GenHillOne says, always go directly to a website (that you typed directly into your address bar) to verify details on your offers, account, etc (whether it is facebook, amazon, your bank or WSB for that matter). Email is ridiculously easy to spoof with malicious attachments- the technique is called Phishing. Never click on anything you get in email – period. Just because an email says it is from a particular website doesn’t mean it is actually from there (you have to dig further into a few details to confirm).

    Especially don’t click on anything in email if there is an attachment (super-duper especially if it is an .exe file).

    borris: just a download is often enough to cause actions on your computer. You don’t need to really click on a download to start causing harm. If you have a data backed up and the computer is acting funny ; wipe it -> reinstall the OS -> patch it -> restore your data.

    #802028

    borris
    Participant

    Thanks. I did google the error messages and came up with “not found” for both.

    And, this was not an Amazon local or coupon email, but an email “confirming” an online order..much like anonyme said. And, it had the date that I made the online order.

    I had already received a confirmation (legit) from Amazon, but thought this was an update. And, I wasn’t paying attention so I downloaded it.

    Looking at it again, it has the grammatical mistakes that fakes ones do. I was just stupid.

    Thankfully, after having too many fatal melt-downs on my old computer, I keep everything on an external hard drive that is only hooked up when I need it to be (and it hasn’t been since this happened).

    So, hopefully I am in the clear after wiping everything and starting over. Since this, I have not used my computer for anything requiring a log-in.

    But, beware, there are fake Amazon emails and it does look like they hacked order information as they did have the exact date I placed my order.

    Thanks for the tips…

    #802029

    metrognome
    Participant

    borris — the only other suggestion I can make is to restore your computer back to a restore point before that .exe file started giving you fits. I had a problem with a Java download that really messed things up and nothing worked to uninstall it until I stumbled across the restore point instructions. Apparently, my HP2000 automatically creates a restore point before it downloads anything.

    oh, yeah, check your Control Panel (assuming you are using Windows) and uninstall anything unfamiliar that was installed on that date (Google it first to make sure it isn’t legit.)

    #802030

    dhg
    Participant

    Borris: you’ve hijacked the topic as your issue is not related to an actual Amazon offer. Howsomever, download and run malwarebytes from malwarebytes.org and it will clear this up.

    #802031

    borris
    Participant

    Thanks again for the tips. I didn’t mean to “hijack” the thread… was only echoing what the #2 response was from anonyme… that other suspicious emails are coming from Amazon, wondering if anyone else (ie. perhaps anonyme) had gotten the same thing, and then responding to the kind tips that were offered. I’ll shut up.

    #802032

    biankat
    Participant

    I also received the email that anonyme and Boris did. I could tell it was not right and deleted it.

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