Why the “Amazon Token” advertised on Facebook sure looks like a scam

This ad for “Amazon Token” on Facebook intrigued me. Is that Jeff Bezos pitching me a cryptocurrency? So I clicked through.

What I found is a slick, well produced, seductive website . . . that I’m pretty sure has nothing to do with Amazon. They’ll be happy to take your crypto money — in the form of Bitcoin or Ethereum — but what you’ll get sure seems like nothing but vapor.

Perfect timing for an Amazon Crypto scam

In July, reports surfaced that Amazon was planning to announce a digital currency. So crypto watchers were poised for an announcement like this.

And if you click through on the ad, here’s what you see:

If you are ready to plunge forward with anything cryptocurrency, this looks inviting. After all, it clearly has the backing of Jeff Bezos, with the Amazon logo and his picture right there.

But if you are at all suspicious, there are clues that this might not be legit.

Why is the URL a subdomain of “orders-presale.finance,” rather than an Amazon domain?

Why was there no official press release or news coverage from Amazon? Would they really be advertising a product on Facebook that they hadn’t yet announced?

More clues that should make you nervous

This scam, if that’s what it is, has an excellent website. It really looks legit. Here are a few samples of what you’d see by scrolling down. Notice the subtle clues that the opportunity is limited so you’d better act now.

The last picture includes a clue that there’s a problem here: the language. I can’t imagine a legitimate Amazon site saying something quite as meaningless as “everything is secure and robust.” This isn’t the usual marketing bullshit, it’s just garden-variety super-vague writing.

And here the suspicious reader finds other clues. There’s this misspelling of token and more breathless language:

There’s this page which promises serious documents, but they’re actually just graphics that don’t lead to anything.

And at the bottom, there’s this seemingly normal boilerplate — except that the social media icons don’t actually link to any social media accounts.

I checked a few URLs and domains. Amazontoken.com redirects to Amazon.com, but it’s the home page, rather than a page about tokens. And Amazontoken.app goes nowhere. A Whois search reveals that both of those domains are registered with privacy on, so you can get no information about who actually owns them.

Crypto is a scammy place. Beware, or you’ll lose your money.

You shouldn’t invest anything in crypto that you can’t afford to lose. It has no real-world support, and any cryptocurrency could drop to zero for any reason at any time.

In this case, though, who knows what you’re buying? If you invest in this site, you’ll pay real money for Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency and trade it for an “Amazon Token” where the only connection with Amazon is photos of Jeff Bezos pasted into the site.

Facebook should have caught this, since the ad was clearly placed by somebody pretending to have an Amazon connection.

If you are tempted by offers like this, do your own investigation. Look for typos and grammatical errors. Search to see if there’s been an announcement. Try to find links from the referenced company (in this case, Amazon) out to the purported site. (Anyone can link into a site like Amazon, but only Amazon can link out from it.)

If it’s not legit, you’ll find clues like these. And if you ignore them and get scammed, you’ll be angry at yourself — and you ought to be.

I won’t be posting a link to the site. And shockingly, in the time it took me write this blog post, the advertiser’s Facebook account has been suspended. I wonder why?

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  1. I love how you dissect the scam, pointing out the clues that indicate it is in fact a scam. I often receive scam emails and am tipped off by two things: the lack of a real logo, and misspelled words. I will be sharing your post on my social media channels and hope that others will be warned off of this scam.

    1. Yep A friend of mine came to me with this and I fell for it. Didn’t lose a ton but enough for a few days work. The link to this site has vanished. It seemed so legit with the way it was set up and mimicked the popular sights for buying crypto. Overall, I learned my lesson and now know what to look for in the future.

      1. I can’t believe I fell for it as well. Donated 1500 to these scums. They called me with whatsapp asking me if I wanted to buy more for 30% off and immediately I knew it was all fraud. FML. I’m guessing there’s nothing that can be done to get my money back? Why would facebook allow this advertisement. Facebook should be held liable.

        1. facebook sucks. i reported a scam site ad on FB supposedly selling 50 oz of pure gold for $999 they said it doesnt go against their policy. they should be liable financially and criminally because i’m certain someone reported that crap before you saw it.

        2. I got caught on the bank of China e coin. I put my details down and got a phone call. The guy was good. After an hour he was my best mate ! He then told me he would set me up to be accepted on a trading platform. A company called tradelax rang me and took £250 deposit, and then I found myself accepted by a company called algoblox. Well I told them I did not want to be a currency trader, I just wanted to buy e coins. Well I complained and got blanked. I got hold of Trade lax and also hit every company on youtube, facebook, twitter etc to warn them of this nefarious activity. After a few weeks I got my deposit back from Tradelax. I also checked out a few scam reviews. There were people on there who said ” I lost x amount of £s with this company, but “Fred smith” managed to get it all back for me, and a small profit ” That is another scam.

      2. My God.i almost fell for this.i got alarmed after I went through the site and noticed grammatical errors and lack of physically verifiable telephone number.this prompted me to Google scam related to the token and bingo,my instincts were correct.solid scam.phew!

    2. I fell for this a few weeks ago. They got 800 $ in eth. The next week they had a NBA token sale. Then I saw another amazon sale w a different url. I want to contact the authorities.

  2. Note also that the domain orders-presale.finance was set up via NameCheap. A company the size of Amazon doesn’t use a spam friendly cheap domain system and nameserver. They in fact use the Dyn toolset, which they acquired a few years ago, as one of the few that can support their scale. A lookup on amazon.com reveals that their legit sites are completely above-board with fully public contact info and Dyn as their nameserver, with a fallback to UltraDNS. Scams rarely spend real money for top grade hosting.

    Few companies selling anything of value are at NameCheap, which is notorious for their unwillingness to clamp down on crooked schemes using their tools and network. See https://circleid.com/posts/20200312-namecheap-eff-and-the-dangerous-internet-wild-west for an example

    1. I almost fall for it, until I noted that the price on the Amazon token was listed as 0.21 and I was being charged one dollars for each coin converted into ETHEREUM CRYPTO the math didn’t add up!!!

  3. If one didn’t look closely, they might miss how the Amazon smile logo (top left in the blue footer) was extended to include the word “token”, but the font is rather different than the original logo.

    These guys couldn’t even be bothered to find the Amazon branding brief. (Could it be Frutiger 47 Condensed?).

  4. Also if you read some of their body text, they refer to Amazon as a social media company. Not quite. But it does make me suspect that this is boilerplate from when Facebook announced Libra and to jump on any other social companies that try to jump into the crypto game

  5. Yup, we fell for it too. Not a ton invested – only about $1500 worth but still money I wished we hadn’t lost. Was clued in that something wasn’t right when I emailed their ‘contact’ link and email said it could not be delivered.

  6. listen the bigger problem is FB sponsoring these scam ads, this is unacceptable, many ppl will get scam by this shit if i was a lawyer i would already sue them, this is like 50%
    ads of FB mark as sponsorise that are scam this is getting out of control. instead of faceball yo censor what ppl say they should get this sort out, like i swear man i would go to court anytime to get this fix it will also hurt crypto reputation bcuz of this bs

  7. “It has no real-world support, and any cryptocurrency could drop to zero for any reason at any time.” I really hate that this has become a common saying about crypto for people who have zero understanding of how market works. Its the equivalent of saying that tomorrow we could have a nuclear disaster and all money could become worthless. It’s possible but on what basis are you actually predicting that outcome? As long as there is a demand for it, the crypto is here to stay. Also any investment is a risk crypto or not.

  8. Yo they’re doing this with NBA token too now under the url nba-token sale com. WATCH OUT! I almost bought some before realizing it was a really well-crafted SCAM! I couldn’t find any other info online and after a thorough review it was clearly a scam. So scary how real it looks!

  9. They’re exploiting a fake CBS News page to advertise under the guise of being a legitimately sponsored company. Absolutely infuriating how real this all looks. If it takes me 15 mins to figure out it’s a scam, what about my mom? My grandma? Let’s get together and put an end to these predatory crypto sites trying to steal from people that don’t understand crypto!

  10. The Facebook link also says the coin is built on the Tezos network. AWS has been partnered with Constellation (DAG) for ~2 years, and the Tezos site has no mention of the Amazon partnership.

  11. i just fell for this and lost about $432 not a ton of money but enough to piss me the fuck off
    I fell for ir because it looked real and i trusted it because it was on facebook i never knew FB would allow such a thing on the internet and to hit my news feed! this is unacceptable and disgusting of facebook to allow such activities to take place in there website. im going to take the loss and learn the lesson. but if this could happen to me a pretty savvy computer nerd then who knows how many people and how much money was STOLEN.

    1. Facebook does not care. They are American and the as the saying goes ” Never give a sucker an even break “.

  12. I was really thinking about investing (aka getting scammed) in the Amazon Token, but glad I looked further into it rather than rushing into it. I did a little digging of my own and found that part of their “Team”, one “Moises Teare”, “Sr.Backend developer” (their misspelling) is actually a photo from a Russian stock photo website. LOL.

  13. Notice as well how you can only pay with crypto – it makes it way harder to trace where the money goes to.
    There is a similar scam around Diem from Meta (Facebook).

  14. This scam is still going on FB. I got suckered into it last night for 100 USDT. The small detail of pre-processing the transaction before I ever paid my 100 USDT confused me a little and had me thinking about that detail all night long. That’s what led me to my scam research this morning, bringing me to this article and thread. I feel like an idiot as being and IT professional, I should know better. This scam was well orchestrated.

    1. These sites get taken down almost as soon as they are up.

      It appears that if you report the page on Facebook as spam or fraud, it gets taken down. And if you call it a scam, the domain registrar will likely take it down. (I think that’s why they are disappearing almost as soon as they appear.)

      What I don’t understand is why Facebook can’t spot them and block them during the process of setting up an ad. Their AI is supposed to be so smart, but it’s unable to spot a scam even after similar sites have been flagged dozens of times.

      In addition to seeing the ads continue to appear on my own Facebook, this post is getting 1,000 to 2,000 views a day. That is telling me that the scams are continuing to appear, because that’s why people are continuing to search and find this post.

  15. I swindled $ 120 in this scam on December 6, 2021 at 5:15 p.m.
    This scam is still going on on FB. This scam is very well organized. Why does Facebook support such scams? Facebook is ultimately responsible

  16. I was curious and interested in buying. But it looked suspicious, limited information, no security features, unrelated domain name. It seems like a scam. I opened an account with vague information, no email verification.