NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – They look so real. Emails, texts, all from companies, you recognize with realistic logos and requests. It’s why people easily fall victim to these impersonation scams.

“The internet has created this playground of opportunity,” said Robyn Householder, President/CEO, BBB Middle Tennessee.

And scammers have figured out what people fall for, disguising their identity with brands you know and trust. Amazon is currently the top company fraudsters choose to impersonate, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

From July 2020 through June 2021, consumers reported losses topping more than $27 million from Amazon scams alone, with a median individual loss totaling about $1,000.

It’s not only fake Amazon accounts – fake Netflix communications, Regions, AT&T, Apple, all brands you very well may already do business with.

Richard Baer, Supervisory Special Agent with the FBI, says you should take a second to consider why the company is reaching out to you, and always independently verify. “If you do receive some sort of email –from some reputable company be very cautious to click on it – that’s phishing.”

And your personal information could be compromised. “There’s a lot of time where malware could be introduced onto your computer, your phone,” said Baer.

If you’re still unsure if the communication is legit, do an online search of the company name, along with “scam” or “complaints” included in the search, and see what others are saying about them. “Chances are if they’ve taken advantage of someone else, it’s talked about online,” Householder said.

Scammers are trying new ways to steal your money throughout Middle Tennessee. Ahead of the holidays, protecting your funds is incredibly important. News 2 investigates the new tactics scammers are using now and how to best protect yourself from the bad guys. Watch special reports all day Thursday in every newscast and on WKRN.com.