With the increase in phishing schemes and online scams, it is difficult for customers to trust every text message on their phones or emails claiming to be from an online seller.
It gets worse when you are buying things from a large e-commerce company like Amazon. To protect its numerous buyers around the globe, the company introduced the Amazon OTP security feature.
If you have been getting email messages from Amazon with a series of numbers, this quick guide will help you understand what it means and how to use it.
Let’s get started.
What is an Amazon OTP?
OTP is short for One-Time Password.
It is a six-digit number sent by Amazon to your registered email address during the delivery of your package or when you (or someone) initiate a potentially malicious activity on your Amazon account.
Amazon does this to provide an additional layer of security for your packages and account.
However, in cases of package deliveries, you may not receive an Amazon OTP for every single item you order.
Usually, the security feature applies when you take delivery of expensive items.
How Does the Amazon OTP Work?
Amazon One-Time Password works in a pretty straightforward fashion.
First, you order an item and Amazon tells you when to expect it. Afterward, you will receive a six-digit number in your registered email as your OTP.
You can also access the OTP by tracking your order from the “Track Package” option in your Amazon account.
When the delivery agent arrives, you are expected to enter the OTP in their device or read it to them. The device will verify the OTP and the agent will give you the package.
The OTP is valid for only one day.
If you can’t receive the package because you are not available, Amazon will try to deliver it again on the next working day.
On the other hand, if you are making changes to your Amazon account, you will receive an OTP to authenticate the alteration.
When you get the code, simply enter it into the required field to authorize the changes.
What’s the Point of an Amazon OTP?
With millions of merchants selling on Amazon, just about anyone can show up at your doorstep claiming to be a delivery person from the company.
A uniform with the Amazon logo is definitely not enough proof that the person wearing it is somehow associated with Amazon.
In an elaborate scam, fraudulent individuals can easily design counterfeit logos and send bogus emails or text messages claiming to be from Amazon.
It might be easy to spot a scam if you live alone or if no one else in your household uses your computer and Amazon account.
Someone showing up at your door to deliver a package that you didn’t order is a dead giveaway. They are likely fake and looking to take advantage of you.
But in homes where more than one person uses an Amazon account, it is possible for a family member to order an item but not be at home when the package arrives.
In that case, any other person at home can offer to sign for the package and may become a victim of an elaborate scam.
For this reason, a One-Time Password from Amazon ensures that the right packages are delivered to the right customers by a verified Amazon delivery agent.
Can I Share My OTP With Someone Else?
Amazon strongly suggests that you should never share your OTP with anyone else, especially when you receive the security code in connection to attempted changes to your account information.
This will be like handing over your password to a hacker or scammer.
However, you can share your Amazon OTP with someone you trust if it has to do with package delivery.
This is particularly true if you won’t be available to receive your package.
But make sure you trust the person and they will be at your address to receive the package for you.
If you will not be available to receive your package, do not share your OTP with the delivery agent over the phone.
If you can’t find someone you trust to help you receive the package, simply let the delivery agent go back with the pack. Amazon will attempt to deliver the package at a later time (usually the next working day).
Why Do I Receive an OTP When I Didn’t Order Anything?
In some instances, you will receive a One-Time Password from Amazon when there is an attempt to alter your account information.
Perhaps you forgot your login details and you request a password reset. Amazon will send you an OTP through your registered email address to confirm you are actually the one making the changes.
If you get a One-Time Password from Amazon when you didn’t order any item or try to alter your account information, it’s likely someone else is trying to gain access to your account.
In some cases, though, it could be that someone in your household ordered an item from your Amazon account.
In any case, the content of the email will include a six-digit number that must be used to authenticate account information update or transaction.
No changes can occur on your account unless you enter the six-digit number. Also, the delivery cannot happen if you don’t read the OTP to the agent or enter it into their device.
What Should I Do If I Receive an OTP When I Didn’t Do Anything?
You should change your Amazon account password right away if you received an Amazon OTP when you didn’t attempt to make changes to your account or order any item.
Most likely, someone is trying to guess your password and you shouldn’t let that happen.
If you use the old password on any sites apart from Amazon, consider changing them too. This is particularly important if your personal details (such as bank account information) are on any of those websites.
Lastly, but very importantly, it is a good idea to raise a case with Amazon so that they investigate the issue as quickly as possible.
How to Identify an OTP Email from Amazon
An Amazon OTP is definitely legit and trustworthy.
However, you need to be sure the OTP message is from Amazon. But how do you know for sure that a series of random numbers is actually from Amazon?
There are a few ways to know whether an email, text message, webpage, or even a phone call is from Amazon.
- First, if you receive any correspondence from Amazon, it will most definitely come from the company’s official address. Many people who fall victim to phishing emails claiming to be from Amazon only look for “amazon.com” in the address line. But anyone can use that in their address line. To know a legitimate Amazon address, look closely and you will notice a dot (.) before “amzon.com” (for example, “bounces.amazon.com”).
- Also, an OTP email from Amazon will always tell you never to share your code with anyone – not its staff, customer service team, or agents. In fact, the email will never ask for any personal information for that matter! You are likely dealing with a scammer if you get an email claiming to come from Amazon and requesting any personal information, such as credit card details, bank information, an account password, or even asking for your OTP.
- Amazon is a first-rate company with an international reputation, so it makes sense that any email coming from the company is completely error-free. You may be looking at a phishing email if you find grammatical errors or typos in an email supposedly from Amazon.
- Amazon doesn’t send links or attachments in emails. The company will never send you an email prompting you to install any software on your phone or computer. Email messages asking you to click a link or download a program are usually cheap scams looking to clone or hack your device. Disregard them and change your password.
Do not panic if you have already clicked a link or opened an attachment in any email claiming to be from Amazon.
You can still do something about it.
- First, change your password immediately.
- Next, enable Two-Step Verification for your account. This will increase the security level of your Amazon account.
- Lastly, report the spoofed email to Amazon by forwarding it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
An Amazon OTP obviously serves more than one purpose. It allows you to authenticate transactions and account changes and also notifies you if something is off.
If you get any of these messages from Amazon, it is in your best interest not to divulge the code to anyone else unless you trust the person 100%.
An OTP number is sent to you by Amazon to protect your account and authenticate package deliveries. That means you can use the platform with more confidence.