May 13, 2024

Major Amazon Seller Scams to Watch Out for

Major Amazon Seller Scams to Watch Out for
Major Amazon Seller Scams to Watch Out for

Amazon, the world's largest online marketplace, isn’t just a platform filled with growth opportunities but has also become a prime target for scammers. 

With millions of daily users, the Amazon marketplace is a major target for fraudsters looking to take advantage of Amazon sellers and buyers. 

Unfortunately, these seller scams come with major consequences including loss of accounts, loss of brand reputation, financial loss, and so on. 

Whether you’re an experienced Amazon seller or just starting out, understanding these scams will help you navigate them successfully and protect your business. 

Read on as we look at some major Amazon seller scams and how you can protect yourself and your business against these scams. 

What are Amazon seller scams? 

Amazon seller scams are deceptive practices employed by individuals or groups to exploit vulnerabilities within the Amazon marketplace for financial gain. These scams can target both Amazon sellers and buyers. These unscrupulous individuals could lure you with enticing offers or may contact you regarding problems with your Amazon seller account. Ultimately, these scams reduce trust and brand reputation and affect financial security on the Amazon marketplace. 

10 Amazon seller scams to watch out for

Amazon seller scams can come in various forms. Here are 10 Amazon seller scams you should watch out for: 

  1. Account hijacking scams
  2. Counterfeit products scams
  3. Fake reviews scams
  4. Listing hijacking scams 
  5. Phishing scams
  6. Fake orders and chargeback fraud
  7. Amazon "Write a Review" scam
  8. Shipping fraud scam
  9. Account suspension scams 
  10. Fake infringement claims

Account hijacking scams

This is one of the most common Amazon seller scams. With account hijacking, fraudsters gain unauthorized access to a seller's Amazon account. Once inside, they can alter bank account details, modify product listings, or even steal sensitive business information. To reduce the risk of account hijacking scams, it's crucial to enable two-factor authentication, use strong, unique passwords, and never share your login credentials with anyone. Also, regularly monitor your account for any suspicious activity. 

Counterfeit products scams

As an Amazon seller, the types of products you sell can make or break your business. One of the most pervasive scams on Amazon involves counterfeit products. Unscrupulous sellers often manufacture fake versions of popular items and pass them off as genuine. These counterfeit products not only deceive customers but also damage the reputation of legitimate sellers. To avoid falling victim to this scam, it is important to thoroughly vet your suppliers and stay away from deals that seem too good to be true.

Fake reviews scams

Fake reviews scams involve the purchase or sale of fake reviews to boost a product's sales and ranking. Amazon has strict policies against such activities, and sellers caught engaging in these scams can face suspension or banning. To avoid falling victim to this scam, focus on providing quality products and excellent customer service, encouraging genuine reviews from satisfied customers. 

Listing hijacking scams 

Listing hijacking occurs when unauthorized sellers take control of a product listing and start selling counterfeit or inferior versions of the product under the same ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number). This not only results in lost sales for the legitimate seller but also tarnishes their brand image. To combat this scam, it is important to regularly monitor your product listings and take immediate action against unauthorized sellers. You can also consider using unique product identifiers such as GTINs (Global Trade Item Numbers) to differentiate your products and make hijacking more difficult for scammers.

Phishing scams

Phishing scams involve fraudulent emails or messages designed to trick sellers into giving out their login credentials or personal information. These emails often mimic official Amazon correspondence and may contain links to fake login pages. It is important to exercise caution and never click on suspicious links or provide sensitive information over email. Phishing scams can lead to account compromise, identity theft, and financial losses.

Fake orders and chargeback fraud

Some buyers may engage in fraudulent activities such as claiming they didn't receive the item or returning a different or damaged product to get a refund. Buyers may dispute legitimate transactions with their credit card issuers, claiming they didn't authorize the purchase or didn't receive the item. You can use tracking numbers and delivery confirmation to protect yourself against false claims. You also want to provide thorough documentation and evidence of delivery to dispute chargebacks and prevent financial losses.

Amazon "Write a Review" scam 

Scammers may target victims with offers to "get paid to write Amazon reviews," often through emails that appear to be from Amazon. These emails lead to fake Amazon websites designed to steal personal information. If you receive such an offer, ignore it and do not click on any links. You can also report the scam to Amazon and file a police report if the scam occurred outside of Amazon's platform. 

Shipping fraud scam

Shipping fraud occurs when buyers falsely claim that they did not receive their order or received an item that was significantly different from what was described. In some cases, buyers may even return counterfeit or damaged items while keeping the original product. Sellers can protect themselves from shipping fraud by using reliable shipping methods with tracking numbers and maintaining detailed records of their transactions.

Account suspension scams 

It is important to beware of account suspension scams, where fraudsters impersonate Amazon representatives and threaten to suspend the seller's account unless they provide sensitive information or pay a fee. Amazon does not typically contact sellers this way. You should report any suspicious communications to Amazon immediately.

Fake infringement claims

Fake infringement claims occur when competitors falsely accuse a seller of violating copyright or trademark laws in an attempt to get their listings removed. This malicious tactic can result in the suspension of the seller's account. As an Amazon seller, you should be prepared to defend yourself against such claims with evidence of your legitimate ownership or authorization to sell. 

How can you identify Amazon seller scams?

Here are key indicators and tips to help you spot potential scams:

  1. Suspicious communications: You want to avoid unsolicited messages or emails that ask for personal information or payment details. Scammers often use fake order confirmations to trick you into providing sensitive information. These scammers will often create a sense of urgency to persuade you to act quickly, which is a common tactic in scams.
  2. Payment fraud: Keep an eye out for signs of payment fraud, such as unusual payment methods, declined payments, or unauthorized chargebacks. Scammers may use stolen credit card information to place fraudulent orders or request refunds for legitimate purchases.
  3. Unsolicited partnerships: Be cautious when receiving unsolicited offers or partnership opportunities from unknown individuals or companies. Scammers may pose as legitimate businesses offering lucrative deals or collaborations to exploit you. 
  4. If you need clarification on a communication or request, contact Amazon directly through the Amazon app or website. Avoid trying to contact numbers sent over text or email, or found in online search results. 

Did you get scammed on Amazon? What to do! 

If you find yourself falling victim to a scam as an Amazon seller, it's crucial to take swift and decisive action to minimize the damage and recover any losses. Here’s a simple guide on what you can do if you are a victim of Amazon seller scams: 

  • First, you want to document everything. Keep a detailed log of all interactions with the scammer, including emails, messages, and any other forms of communication. If possible, take screenshots of any suspicious emails or messages.
  • Next, report the scam to Amazon. Go to the Amazon Seller Central contact page and select "I need help with my account." Include your IP address in the description to help Amazon identify the issue. When reporting the scam, provide all the documentation you've collected, including transaction details, screenshots, and a detailed account of the scam.
  • You can Inform your bank about the scam and provide them with all the details of the transaction. Your bank may be able to reverse the transaction or give you further assistance.
  • If the Amazon seller scam involves a significant amount of money or personal information, you consider filing a police report. This can help in tracing the scammer. 
  • If the scam has caused significant financial loss or damage to your business, consult with a lawyer to explore your legal options.

How to prevent Amazon Seller scams

To prevent Amazon seller scams, it's essential to take proactive steps to secure your business. Here are a few strategies that can help you prevent Amazon seller scams: 

  1. Stay informed and vigilant

You want to familiarize yourself with the most prevalent scams, such as account hijacking, fake reviews, and scams targeting new sellers. This knowledge helps you recognize and avoid potential threats. Check for grammatical or spelling mistakes in emails claiming to be from Amazon. Stay clear of suspicious links or requests for personal information. If you're unsure about a communication or request, contact Amazon directly through the Amazon website or app rather than responding to suspicious emails or calls. 

  1. Enhance security measures on your account 

To keep your account secure, ensure your Amazon Seller Central account is protected with a strong, unique password, and enable two-factor authentication for added security. Regularly monitor your Amazon seller account for any unauthorized changes or suspicious activity. You can use tools like Jungle Scout Alerts to notify you of any unusual account behavior. 

  1. Invest in security tools

You can invest in Amazon seller tools like AMZScout, which offer compliance and security features to help manage and protect your business while ensuring compliance with Amazon's rules and regulations. Amazon Web Services (AWS) also provides tools and features to protect your account and data against unauthorized access, reducing security risks. 

  1. Utilize Amazon-approved payment methods

As an Amazon seller, you want to avoid off-platform payments. Stick to Amazon's approved payment methods to ensure the security of transactions. Amazon provides robust security for both sellers and buyers, protecting against fraudulent activities. 

  1. Report suspicious activity

If you suspect fraudulent activity, report it to Amazon immediately. Send an email via Amazon Seller Support detailing your concerns, including the name of the suspected scammer and a link to their storefront if available. You want to provide as much detail as possible to Amazon. You can also report suspicious activity to the official Amazon seller community forum, which has a dedicated thread for reporting hijackers. 

  1. Enroll in the Amazon Brand Registry

One of the most effective ways to protect your Amazon business from scams is to enroll in the Amazon Brand Registry

With Amazon Brand Registry, you not only protect your products and brand but can also access advanced selling tools. Here are three tools on Amazon Brand Registry that can help combat counterfeit products:

  •  Project Zero: Project Zero provides automated protections and the self-service removal of counterfeit products. It allows you to choose the trademark, click, and the listing is closed, making it easier to respond quickly to counterfeit listings. 
  • Transparency: Enrolling your products in Transparency helps prevent the listing, sale, and shipment of counterfeit products. This ensures that every unit you sell through Amazon has a unique, serialized barcode, significantly reducing the counterfeit problem. 
  • Amazon Counterfeit Crimes Unit: The Amazon Counterfeit Crimes Unit works with brands, law enforcement, and customers to stop counterfeiters and hold them accountable.

Wrapping up on Amazon seller scams

While Amazon offers a vast marketplace for sellers to increase sales and grow their business, it is not without its risks. By staying informed and taking proactive measures to protect your account and business, you can navigate the platform safely and successfully.

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Turbo-Charge Your Revenue!

You’ve probably already considered selling on Amazon but its way easier than you think.

Call Us Now

Enjoying our articles?

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive ePlaybooks insights directly in your inbox. Don't worry we will respect your inbox.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.