Amazon just told me to log into someone else's account

Update: Someone from Amazon got in touch and said they were working to solve the problem for me.

Last week, I was surprised when my inbox suddenly filled up with emails from Amazon, regarding apps that I'd downloaded to 'my' Kindle Fire.

There were many, many of these emails over the period of a few days.

A quick look back through the emails made it pretty clear what had happened: someone had purchased a Kindle Fire, and created an Amazon account using their own username, but using my email address. (And not even an address that I regularly use or give out - just an alias that I have set up to catch stray mails.)

In the week since the user set up their Kindle Fire, they've downloaded dozens and dozens of free apps, and yesterday made their first paid-for Amazon purchase with the new account. I get an email about each of these downloads or purchases.

I realize that I could do a password reset on the account (since that would send an email to me), so that I could log into the account. But that feels like it puts me on shaky ground. Particularly since the user's personal information - including name, address & payment information - will all be stored in there.

So, I got in touch with Amazon, to ask them to change or remove my email address from the account. Hopefully they'll have some way of getting in touch with the user as well. If they don't have the user's cell phone number, perhaps they could display an alert on the website or on the Kindle Fire to show that the user doesn't have a confirmed email address?

Here's the relatively short transcript of my conversation with Amazon:

He loved to help me!

So, there we have it. If I don't hear back from Amazon in the next day or two, I'm going to log into this person's account.
I would have access to all their data, and I'd be able to make purchases on their behalf. But I won't do that. I'll just shut down the account.

On the off chance you're reading this, and you're the owner of a new Kindle Fire to which you downloaded 'Kissing Test', 'Love Guru Scanner' and 'I Pregnant Quiz', please go and check your account details.

If you work for Amazon, either in the Kindle Fire or user accounts departments, please contact me on rob@ousbey.com, or using the email address that I shared in that chat.

If you work for law enforcement, please tell me if I'm about to commit a crime. But do go easy on me - I'm just a guy trying to clear out his inbox.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 10/28/2014 - 10:17.

Just upload a personal document containing an explanation to their kindle documents. It will show up on their device and they will hopefully read it.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 10/28/2014 - 19:37.

I once had a problem not as big as yours, with Amazon. I emailed Jeff Bezos, CEO. He had his assistant contact me and resolve the matter very much in my favor. I would suggest sending him an email and including the transcript you posted.

Submitted by Josh (not verified) on Tue, 10/28/2014 - 10:20.

I had a similar situation happen to me when a user created an Apple ID using an old email address I had. The gist of the response I got from Apple was that they were not allowed to contact users directly about an issue. So the only thing I could think of to do was to log in to the account via password reset and then change the email address on the account to a nonexistent address. This would cause the user to have to contact Apple support and then update their email to a correct address.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 10/28/2014 - 10:42.

Similar thing happened to me. Someone with the same name purchased a Kindle, and used my email address for the registration.

I opened a support request explaining the situation, and they were able to suspend the account without me having to assume their identity. I don't know if they contacted him via alternative contact methods, but he hasn't had activity with my address since then.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 10/28/2014 - 11:06.

I've had the same thing happen with someone with a Verizon account. Was getting delinquent payment notices. Basically the same thing happened, except I had no way to log in. Verizon support (or fraud department) wouldn't help.

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