Amazon Scams You Should Know

amazon scams

Amazon is huge and it stands to reason that scammers would take aim. While it’s important to be aware of possible Amazon scams, it’s also important to know that Amazon despises scammers.

Amazon cares about its Amazon store reputation, and if you’ve been scammed, Amazon wants to know. The customer service department will take action.

Be Aware of These Common Amazon Scams

Amazon is a sprawling online business with impressive profit margins. Its Amazon automation system is incredibly complex, impressive, and effective. Someone makes an order and it’s accepted. The buyer then gets messages about the order, including its processing and shipping.

It’s said that imitation is the greatest form of flattery – not true in this case. With the Amazon automation scam, the scammers imitate Amazon. Their messages look a lot like the ones Amazon sends.

That’s just one type of scam involving the Amazon store. Here are more:

1. Amazon Scam Calls, Emails and Texts

Scammers exploit the trust associated with Amazon by sending messages that closely resemble official communications. These fraudulent messages often mention a recent purchase, tapping into the common occurrence of Amazon shopping. Another tactic is to raise alarms about a large unauthorized purchase made using the recipient’s Amazon account. By leveraging these scenarios, scammers aim to prompt recipients to take immediate action, either clicking on malicious links or providing personal information.

amazon scam

2. Amazon Payment Scam

In this scheme, scammers pose as sellers and coax buyers to make payments outside the Amazon platform. The pretext is to save on Amazon fees, but the real intention is to isolate the victim from the platform’s protections. Unsuspecting users who fall for this scam risk losing their money without recourse, as transactions conducted off-platform are not covered by Amazon’s safeguards.

3. Amazon Gift Card Scams

Exploiting the popularity of gift cards, scammers dupe consumers into purchasing Amazon gift cards and then coercing them to share the card numbers and PINs. These ill-gotten details allow scammers to drain the funds from the cards quickly, leaving victims with empty cards and financial losses.

4. Amazon Automation Scam

Scammers capitalize on Amazon’s sophisticated automation services by impersonating them. Through deceptive text messages, phone calls, or emails, scammers make recipients believe they are receiving legitimate updates from Amazon regarding their orders. This scam often includes messages alleging order glitches and requesting recipients to respond for resolution. Unfortunately, responding to such messages can lead to the installation of malicious software on devices.

amazon scam

5. Amazon FBA Business Scams

Scammers target individuals interested in joining Amazon’s Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) program, which involves selling products via the platform. These scams manifest in two main forms. In one scenario, scammers produce or purchase counterfeit products to flood the market at reduced prices, aiming for quick profits. In the other, sellers promise products but fail to fulfill orders, leaving customers disappointed and scammed out of their money.

6. Amazon Virtual Assistant Scam

Leveraging the genuine Amazon virtual assistant, scammers imitate this service to manipulate users. They may request personal information, claiming it’s required for better service. Unwitting victims who share this information open themselves up to identity theft and other fraudulent activities.

As online scams grow in complexity, it’s crucial for Amazon users to stay informed about these tactics. Vigilance and skepticism are essential when dealing with communications and offers from seemingly reputable sources. By recognizing and avoiding these scams, users can enjoy a safer and more secure experience on the Amazon platform.

Scam TypeDescription
Amazon Scam Calls, Emails and TextsScammers mimic official Amazon communications, mentioning recent purchases or unauthorized transactions to prompt action. Recipients risk clicking on malicious links or sharing personal information.
Amazon Payment ScamScammers pose as sellers, urging buyers to make payments outside the Amazon platform to evade fees. Victims risk losing money without Amazon's protective measures.
Amazon Gift Card ScamsExploiting gift card popularity, scammers trick consumers into purchasing Amazon gift cards and coercing them to share card details, leading to financial losses.
Amazon Automation ScamImpersonating Amazon's automation services, scammers send deceptive messages about orders, often claiming glitches. Responding can lead to malware installation.
Amazon FBA Business ScamsScammers target those interested in Amazon's FBA program. They flood the market with counterfeit products or promise unfulfilled orders, causing financial losses.
Amazon Virtual Assistant ScamScammers imitate Amazon's virtual assistant, requesting personal info for "better service." Victims sharing data expose themselves to identity theft.

7. Counterfeit Product Scam

In the Counterfeit Product Scam, scammers offer popular items at attractive prices but deliver cheap knock-offs. To avoid this, verify seller reviews and product authenticity, and be cautious of deals that seem implausibly inexpensive.

8. Phishing Scam

Phishing scams involve emails or messages that impersonate Amazon, tricking users into revealing personal or account information. These can lead to identity theft or unauthorized account access.

9. Delivery Scam

This scam involves notifications about supposed delivery issues or requests for additional information to complete a delivery, often a tactic to obtain personal information or account access.

10. Subscription Scam

Users are tricked into subscribing to unnecessary or non-existent services through Amazon, often involving hidden fees or challenging cancellation processes.

11. Review Manipulation Scam

Sellers manipulate reviews to falsely boost their product ratings. Be wary of products with excessively positive reviews or those that don’t seem genuine.

12. Overpriced Product Scam

Scammers list products at significantly higher prices than the market rate. Always compare prices and be cautious of sellers charging exorbitant amounts.

13. Refund Scam

After a purchase, a seller might offer a refund or discount in exchange for a positive review or for canceling a return request, often a tactic to manipulate Amazon’s policies or avoid negative feedback.

14. Hijacked Account Scam

Legitimate seller accounts are sometimes hijacked by scammers who then list fake products or manipulate prices. Regularly monitor your account for any unauthorized activity.

15. Dropshipping Scam

In a dropshipping scam, a third-party seller takes orders on Amazon but sources the product from another retailer at a lower price, leading to delayed shipping and potentially lower quality products.

16. Coupon Scam

Fake Amazon coupons or discounts are offered in exchange for personal information or to redirect users to fraudulent websites.

17. Payment Redirect Scam

Sellers may ask for payments through methods not supported by Amazon, like wire transfers or gift cards, which are often non-traceable and risky.

18. Fake Amazon Websites

Scammers create websites mimicking Amazon’s layout to deceive users into believing they are shopping on the actual Amazon site.

19. Shipping Scam

The seller sends an empty box or a low-value item to a different address in the same city. The tracking number shows the item as delivered, complicating the refund process.

20. Misleading Product Description Scam

Some listings have misleading descriptions or images that don’t match the actual product. Always read product descriptions thoroughly and check user-submitted images and reviews.

To protect against these scams, practice due diligence, use secure payment methods, monitor your account regularly, and report suspicious activity to Amazon’s customer service.

Can You Get Scammed When Using Amazon?

Yes, you can get scammed when using Amazon – just as you can get scammed using any eCommerce business. Amazon automation services are helpful for ordering and processing. But a common Amazon automation scam is having the scammer imitate it.

For example, you get emails or texts that look like the message is from Amazon. But they’re not – it’s an Amazon automation scam. Seller fraud is a common scam in Amazon business matters. You make an order, and pay, but the order is never fulfilled.

How to Avoid an Amazon Business Scam

No one wants to avoid using the Amazon marketplace and it’s a safe bet that the majority of small business owners have an Amazon account.

Here are our top tips for avoiding an Amazon business scam:

  • Don’t accept any invitation to pay outside the Amazon platform. A seller may claim that you and the seller will avoid Amazon fees by doing this. Yep, you’ll avoid the fees, and you’ll be scammed. It will most likely cost you much much more than any Amazon fee.
  • If you receive texts, phone calls or emails that look like they’re from your Amazon account, be wary. Clicking on an email may open your computer up to a virus or malware. Contact Amazon yourself.
  • Don’t use your email as part of your login information. In fact, don’t do this with any online account you have.
  • Use an automation agency to manage passwords. An automation agency can automate tasks for you, such as regularly changing passwords. The only password you’ll have to remember is the one you use for the automation agency.
  • Don’t give out personal or financial information to anyone who calls you claiming to be from Amazon. Instead, contact Amazon directly.
  • READ MORE: Amazon Suing Social Media Group Admins Over Alleged Fake Reviews

How Do You Know if a Seller is Scamming You from an Amazon Store?

This is a common way scammers make passive income. They pose as sellers, but they don’t really have a product or a business. If you spot a product with a ridiculously low price, be on your guard. The old adage of something being too good to be true is true! The buyer thinks it’s the deal of the century, but the order is never fulfilled.

Here’s how to avoid that scam:

  • Do product research and research the seller (off the Amazon platform).
  • Beware of third-party sellers.
  • Beware of the Amazon “just launched” badge. The badge is for newly launched Amazon seller businesses or products. Scammers often have multiple accounts, as they scramble to keep from being caught.
  • Watch for bad grammar or spelling on a seller’s website. No reputable business owner is going to allow that.

amazon scam

Will Amazon Refund You if You Get Scammed?

Amazon hates scammers and takes the problem very seriously. It’s a worldwide company that fiercely guards its reputation. So, will Amazon send you a refund if you get scammed? It’s likely! The company also wants a full report on any scam so it can take action to prevent such occurrences in the future.

Contact the Amazon customer service department if you feel like you have been scammed. Chances are, instead of losing money, you’ll get a refund as part of Amazon’s service.

amazon scam

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Avoiding Amazon Scams

Can you get scammed while using Amazon?

Yes, scams can occur when using Amazon, just as with any eCommerce platform. While Amazon’s automation services are efficient, scammers often imitate these services to deceive users. Protect yourself by staying vigilant and recognizing the signs of potential scams.

What are common Amazon scams to be aware of?

Amazon scams come in various forms, including scam calls, emails, texts, and payment scams. Gift card scams, Amazon automation imitations, and fraudulent Amazon FBA and virtual assistant services are also prevalent. Scammers often exploit Amazon’s reputation to deceive users and gain access to personal and financial information.

How can I avoid falling victim to Amazon business scams?

Here are some tips to avoid Amazon business scams:

  • Never make payments outside the Amazon platform to avoid fees.
  • Be cautious of unsolicited communication claiming to be from your Amazon account.
  • Use a unique password for your Amazon account and consider using an automation agency to manage passwords.
  • Do not share personal or financial information with anyone claiming to be from Amazon; contact Amazon directly to verify.

How can I identify if a seller on Amazon is a scam?

Scammers often pose as sellers with unrealistically low prices and promise deals that are too good to be true. To avoid this, research both the product and the seller, especially if they are third-party sellers. Watch for signs such as bad grammar or the “just launched” badge, and ensure you’re dealing with reputable businesses.

Will Amazon refund me if I fall victim to a scam?

Yes, Amazon takes scams seriously and works to protect its users. If you’re scammed on Amazon, contact their customer service department and report the incident. Amazon is likely to provide you with a refund as part of their commitment to customer service and reputation preservation.

Why do scammers target Amazon specifically?

Amazon’s vast user base, automation services, and reputation make it an attractive target for scammers. By exploiting Amazon’s name and imitating its services, scammers try to deceive users into providing personal and financial information. However, Amazon actively combats scams to ensure a safe and reliable shopping experience for its customers.

Conclusion: Staying Vigilant Against Amazon Scams

As one of the largest eCommerce platforms in the world, Amazon presents an enticing target for scammers. While the digital marketplace offers convenience and accessibility, it’s crucial to remain aware of potential scams that can undermine your experience. The good news is that Amazon is committed to protecting its users and maintaining its reputation.

Understanding the landscape of Amazon scams is essential. Scammers often employ tactics like imitating Amazon’s communication or exploiting its automation services. Whether it’s through scam calls, emails, texts, payment schemes, gift card fraud, or counterfeit products, these deceptive practices aim to trick unsuspecting users.

To safeguard yourself against Amazon scams:

  • Stay Informed: Be aware of the common scams that target Amazon users, including imitation emails, payment requests outside the platform, and unrealistically low-priced products.
  • Verify Communications: If you receive messages claiming to be from Amazon, carefully check for signs of authenticity. Avoid clicking on links in suspicious emails and instead contact Amazon directly to verify any claims.
  • Secure Your Account: Use unique passwords for your Amazon account and consider using an automation agency to manage your passwords securely.
  • Practice Caution with Sellers: Research third-party sellers and products before making purchases. Be cautious of overly enticing deals and newly launched seller accounts, as scammers often exploit these to deceive users.
  • Report Scams: If you suspect you’ve encountered a scam on Amazon, report it to their customer service department. Amazon takes scams seriously and aims to provide assistance and refunds to affected users.

By staying vigilant and informed, you can navigate the Amazon marketplace with confidence, knowing that Amazon’s commitment to user protection is on your side. As technology and scams evolve, your awareness and proactive approach will play a vital role in ensuring your online safety and maintaining a positive shopping experience.

Image: Depositphotos

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Lisa Price Lisa Price is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 4 years. She has a B.A. in English with a minor in journalism from Shippensburg State College (Pennsylvania). She is also a freelance writer and previously worked as a newspaper circulation district manager and radio station commercial writer. In 2019, Lisa received the (Pennsylvania) Keystone Award.