Amazon Prime members can now send gifts with just a phone number or email address

From The Verge: Amazon is launching a new gifting feature today that will allow subscribers to its Prime service to send gifts to others using only an email address or phone number — no address required.

Gift-givers have to be Amazon Prime members, the program is limited to the continental US, and it can only be used on mobile devices for the time being. And even though Amazon has built in some safeguards— the gift-giver never gets access to the recipient’s mailing address— this sounds like a bad idea that is ripe for abuse by scammers, stalkers, and those who take pleasure in the online harassment of others.

Here’s how the new feature works: Gift-giver wants to surprise recipient with a present but doesn’t know recipient’s mailing address. Gift-giver does, however, have either recipient’s email address or phone number. Gift-giver chooses the gift on his Amazon mobile app, selects the “add gift receipt for easy returns” options during check-out, and will see an option to “let the recipient provide their address.” The giver then adds the recipient’s email address or mobile number.

At this point the gift-giver’s card isn’t charged, but a hold is put on their payment card for the amount of the purchase.

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