Phantom TVs steal money from Amazon users

Phantom TVs steal money
Written by Emma Davis

A new method of fraud is gaining popularity among cybercriminals, allowing to “clear” the bank accounts of Amazon users. Phantom TVs steal money from users.

Secretly from the victim, the attackers connect a smart TV to their account, which is not displayed in the usual settings and which even the Amazon tech support team cannot remove. Through this phantom device, cybercriminals make online purchases using a victim’s bank card.

The use of invisible devices attached to people’s Amazon accounts by criminals to go on unauthorized spending sprees with their victims’ payment cards seems to be a fairly widespread problem.”, — report journalists from The Register magazine.

The attackers somehow manage to add Android devices to the Amazon accounts that do not appear in the list of attached devices. These devices are authorized to make online purchases through a compromised account without awareness of the victim and technical support staff.

Read also: Xhelper malware attacks Android devices and demonstrates outstanding survival skills

According to one victim, Jon d’Shade, he managed to make Amazon to recover the deducted funds, after which he changed all passwords. At first, d’Shade did not see any extraneous devices in the main settings of his account, but then on the Amazon Prime page he found two smart TVs, which came from nowhere.

I checked my devices list. It reflects my two Fire tablets and my Firestick. It does not reflect the two smart TVs, one Samsung, the other Vizio”, — said Jon d’Shade The Register journalists.

Brian Adgey faced a similar problem while dealing with Amazon’s enormous bill for his mother’s services.

Just to give you some background, her account was hacked previously when somebody compromised her email account. She did not have two-factor authentication enabled at the time, so this was the first thing we did on her Amazon account on that occasion”, – explained Brain Adgey the Register journalists.

Amazon itself has not yet commented on the situation, however, according to a source from The Register, the company is currently conducting an investigation.


Amazon Prime users can see some of their non-Amazon devices on the Prime Devices screen. This might be one way to check if you have parasites in the form of phantom devices.

Additionally, be sure to enable two-factor authentication to log into your Amazon account.

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About the author

Emma Davis

I'm writer and content manager (a short time ago completed a bachelor degree in Marketing from the Gustavus Adolphus College). For now, I have a deep drive to study cyber security.

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