You can avoid being Scammed on Amazon
For many Amazon users, there has been a moment where hands are in hair and the thought “Have I been scammed?” is running through their mind. Here's a list of common Amazon scams and how to avoid them.
Scams have been around since the dawn of time. Just ask the cuckoo bird, who lays its eggs in another bird's nest so that another bird feeds the chick. Every day a more ingenious scam or loophole is discovered and taken full advantage of so it’s essential to take steps to protect your business as every conned sale is a real one lost.
Online scams are well known and widely understood and the term phishing crops up a lot, too. Phishing is when someone pretends to be a trusted organisation like Amazon and attempts to get personal information from you so that they can steal your money or even your identity. Phishing scams are very common and identity theft is rampant, with more sophisticated methods of extracting personal data being dreamed up constantly. Even if you are up to scratch on phishing scams, it’s always worth reading up on regularly to prevent your business falling for a complex scam.
Most common are links in phishing emails, which contain and activate malicious viruses that capture passwords and private information from the devices being used. Read more about this in the email scams section.
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The Failed Delivery Scam
This scam is as old as e-commerce itself and occurs very frequently. A buyer will purchase an item online and say that it didn’t arrive and claim either a refund or replacement. Of course in some instances this may be true, but it’s important to take precautions to prevent it happening to you and affecting your feedback and metrics.
When shipping expensive items to a buyer send it via track-and-trace postage, which will protect you in disputes by verifying whether and when the order was delivered. It also means that no item can be delivered without a signature upon receiving the product.
The Replace and Refund Scam
The scam is exactly how it sounds: a seller will post a product to the buyer, who then replaces the item with a damaged one and asks for a refund. This scam is most prevalent in the used games sector.
Scammers order a game and, when it is delivered, swap it for a scratched or broken one, then return it because it doesn’t work. This is a tricky one as it is impossible to prove that the product was working before you sent it, short of going to the extreme lengths of recording yourself playing and posting it. Even photos are dubious evidence as the photo might not be legitimate.
This scam can however be countered by performing a quality test, then attaching a tamper-proof sticker. The stickers are designed so that if someone attempts to remove it from the product, it will tear. They can be bought in bulk online, very cheaply and are a good indicator if the product is the one you dispatched. Include in the item description that you have quality-tested the product and it has a sticker warranty, to further dissuade potential scammers.
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These are the most basic, but also the most effective. Never dispatch an item to a buyer unless it appears in "Your Orders." If an order is not in your order list, delete the e-mail and do not respond to it, scammers invent orders they say have occurred and ask for information about payment and shipping details to lure sellers into giving out information. Similarly, if you receive an email you are unsure of and it has an attachment, delete the email and do not open the attachment.
Amazon will never ask for your personal details and will not list a customer's email address or shipping address, so don’t be fooled by an authentic-looking address. An important one to remember is that Amazon will never ask you to login via an email so even if it looks legitimate, only logging in directly on Amazon will guarantee your account remains safe.
A common misconception is that if you can see the sender's email address, it must be genuine. This is not the case as all emails from buyers are displayed in your seller central account, so ignore all messages sent from non-Amazon emails.
Bad punctuation, spelling and grammar is an indicator that the email is not from Amazon but of course some internet scammers are more sophisticated than others, so don’t go by this alone. If you’re not sure, just contact Amazon Support and they will be able to verify any messages to your account.
Be very cautious about links sent to you for payment, Amazon payments are always hosted on one of these domains:
If you are unsure of the link, do not click it. If you did click through from a spoofed or suspicious email and you entered your Amazon Payments account information, you should change your Amazon.com password immediately. If you entered bank account details, contact your bank immediately.
What to do if you think you have been scammed
Contact Amazon straight away if you suspect you have been scammed. They do have some loss protection safeguards in place, but these are widely known for favoring the buyer if it comes down to your word versus theirs. You are also not protected on any transactions that occur outside Amazon’s platforms, so it’s a good idea to perform all transactions and messages within your seller account.
If you suspect you have been scammed do not respond to any messages.
Avoid confusion by achieving a single view
When you receive customer messages from multiple channels, your webstore and social media, the potential for confusion increases. Scammers rely on causing confusion and they’ll cash in if you’re not on the ball. Speed and accuracy are vital when it comes to managing customer support and avoiding fraud.
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