KSL INVESTIGATES

Gephardt: Fraudulent Charges Lock Man Out Of Amazon, Kindle Digital Purchases

Mar 31, 2021, 6:41 PM | Updated: 7:46 pm

EDEN, Utah — When Tom and Diane Strauss lost access to their Amazon account, the hundreds of dollars of voice-activated Echos and Dots they own became unusable. The couple couldn’t access the multiple movies and e-books they’d purchased licenses to stream and download.

“I have five Alexas,” said Strauss, “I have Prime Video, and can’t use any of it.”

That’s because Strauss said Amazon locked him out of his account.

He explained that last year, a crook got access to his credit card information and began making bogus purchases at many retailers, including buying six Xbox consoles on Amazon for $2,200. They were shipped to an address in California with which Strauss was unfamiliar.

Strauss disputed the charges as fraud and said company after company accepted it as the work of an identity thief and waived the charges. All except Amazon.

Strauss said Amazon told him “we’re closing your account and the only way it’s going to be reopened is if you give us another credit card that’s valid that can pay for this $2,217.”

He claimed he protested by email four different times to Amazon, but only ever got the same form letter response with the same request for an additional credit card.

This time, KSL Investigators reached out to Amazon on the Strauss’s behalf through the company’s corporate communications department. Within hours, Amazon responded they “worked directly with the customer to address this and made it right.”

Their account was reinstated without having to pay for the fraudulently purchased gaming consoles.

A look at Amazon’s terms and conditions on buying digital materials shows consumers are not buying the actual movie or book, but instead have purchased “right to view, use, and display” content “only as long as you remain an active member of the underlying membership or subscription program.”

Amazon’s spokesperson told us anyone who sees suspicious activity on their account should report it immediately to Amazon.


Have you experienced something you think just isn’t right? The KSL Investigators want to help. Submit your tip at investigates@ksl.com or 385-707-6153 so we can get working for you.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

KSL Investigates

A bus driver fills up at a gas station in Brooklyn on August 11, 2022 in New York City. While fuel ...
Matt Gephardt

Gephardt Busts Inflation: Ways you can save money at the gas pump

Inflation remains high for several reasons and one of the biggest is tied to gas prices. But you can bring down the price you pay with some relatively simple changes in your driving habits.
2 days ago
KSL’s Matt Gephardt fuels up his minivan to determine how much gas Google Maps’ eco-friendly ro...
Matt Gephardt & Sloan Schrage

Gephardt Busts Inflation: Can Google’s eco-friendly routes really save you gas money?

Gas prices have edged down from their record highs, but they are still a far cry from being affordable for many Utah families. So, when Google rolled out a new feature for its Maps navigation app that says it can save you money on gas by using suggested eco-friendly routes, the KSL Investigators decided to put it to the test.
3 days ago
FILE: Back-to-school shopping (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)...
Matt Gephardt & Sloan Schrage

Gephardt Busts Inflation: Saving $ on back-to-school supplies with inflation

With inflation running amok this year, parents are tackling big price hikes on top of the stress. Fortunately, there are ways they can still save money.
6 days ago
...
Matt Gephardt & Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

KSL Investigators help bank customer regain access to his money after fraud incident

KSL Investigators help a fraud victim gain access to his bank account after nearly a year of being locked out.
9 days ago
...
Matt Gephardt & Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

What are the rules for airline travel credits?

After canceling a beach vacation to Hawaii, a Utah woman believes she has $1,400 in flight credits. Ongoing flight cancellations have plagued the summer travel season, and a lot of travelers are being made whole with flight credits rather than refunds.
10 days ago
FILE PHOTO - Shown are a smartphone and computer....
Matt Gephardt

Can a company pull the rebate runaround?

When a West Valley City woman took up Verizon on a rebate offer to upgrade but could not get the rebate, she contacted the KSL Investigators for help.
16 days ago

Sponsored Articles

tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
cyber security through multi factor authentication setup...
Les Olson IT

How multi factor authentication setup helps companies stay safe

Multi factor authentication (MFA) setup is an important security measure that every company should implement for their workers. It’s also wise to install it for your personal and home accounts.
...
Lighting Design

Check out these stunning lamps with stained glass shades

Lamps with stained glass shades are statement pieces that are more than simply aesthetic. They also meet a functional requirement: to light up a room.
Address Bar of internet browser shows internet access...
AARP Utah

Utah voters 50+ support increased access to Internet

The AARP surveyed Utah voters aged 50 plus about internet access and if they support the expansion of broadband, especially in rural areas currently lacking it.
Gephardt: Fraudulent Charges Lock Man Out Of Amazon, Kindle Digital Purchases