Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon Apr 10 2017 15:24:49

Amazon Fraud Targets Sellers, Beware

By: Ina Steiner

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We have been reporting on a wave of fraud that hit Amazon in March that targets buyers, and the Wall Street Journal followed up today with additional troubling news: "attackers have changed the bank-deposit information on Amazon accounts of active sellers to steal tens of thousands of dollars from each," it wrote.

In the attacks we documented in this blog post and in an in-depth report in the 411 newsletter, fraudsters were posing as sellers using mostly "just launched" selling accounts to defraud buyers. We also noted that some sellers were seeing an uptick in dormant accounts being hijacked as part of the same scam.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the damage to hijacked accounts doesn't stop there - the scammers are siphoning off Amazon disbursements from active seller accounts.

"The fraud stems largely from email and password credentials stolen from previously hacked accounts and then sold on what's dubbed the "dark web," a network of anonymous internet servers where hackers communicate and trade illicit information. Such hacks previously have favored sites such as PayPal Inc. and eBay Inc., but Amazon recently has become a target of choice, according to cybersecurity experts."

Sellers whose deposits were siphoned off by hijackers are wondering if Amazon will reimburse them. Sellers need to pay suppliers, shipping carriers, employees, and other bills, and the cashflow consequences are sure to be devastating for those impacted.

We have questions in to Amazon.




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Perminate Link for Amazon Fraud Targets Sellers, Beware   Amazon Fraud Targets Sellers, Beware

by: Barbbie This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 13 09:27:42 2017

I had heard about this on the Amazon forum and checked my account and changed my password again. Mine seems fine but my advice is go check your account and it doesn't hurt to change your password once in a while too and to something you do not use on other sites.

Perminate Link for Amazon Fraud Targets Sellers, Beware   Amazon Fraud Targets Sellers, Beware

by: ebay refugee camp This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 13 12:29:55 2017

We were hit, Amazon completely denied thy were hacked when we called, it had been reported two days before that we learned later. We were transferred hung up on and lied to for two days before we finally got someone to help. Mr. Bezo's is the second richest man in the world and it is astonishing that he cannot afford any level of competent customer service or stronger security on the world's largest shopping site. This is unacceptable and Mr. Bezo's himself should be charged.

Perminate Link for Amazon Fraud Targets Sellers, Beware   Amazon Fraud Targets Sellers, Beware

by: Troy Stiffler This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 13 20:33:46 2017

Keep an eye on your account. First, any change ends up under "performance notifications". And those messages cannot be deleted (though, if a hacker is in your account, they could read the comment, which removes the noticeable red flag icon). Second, Amazon freezes payouts for three days after any deposit info is changed.

I wouldn't be surprised if this is more about eroding Amazon's image, and less about stealing those funds. All of these fake sellers and hacks are possibly from the competition. I think it's less about the money, and more about sabotaging Amazon, and sabotaging all of the 3rd party sellers who have built businesses there.

This might get into paranoia territory, but... The Chinese (etc.) manufacturers are trying to cut out Americans importing their goods and acting as the middle men. They want to sell directly to the American consumer. If you're one of those companies who imports containers full of goods, be mindful of the market. I think there's a prompt end coming to that entire sector of importing and private labeling generic goods.

Those products are already a battleground for sabotage on Amazon. Constant improper reviews, fraud claims, authenticity claims, test buys, etc. It's cut throat. Now that they've all bottomed out their profits, the next step is to sabotage each other's Amazon and Ebay accounts.

Perminate Link for Amazon Fraud Targets Sellers, Beware   Amazon Fraud Targets Sellers, Beware

This user has validated their user name. by: IDKwhoIare

Fri Apr 14 12:07:30 2017

Wow.  I would like to pass on my sympathies to any ECB blog peeps who are affected by this. This just plain sucks and sounds like the worst nightmare.

I am not affected, I don't sell on Amazon and as of two years ago I try really hard to avoid buying from them.  I dislike not being able to filter out non-USA sellers 100% upfront on my searches.

@ebay refugee camp:

Mr Bezo's should be ashamed of himself.  He obviously could afford those things, he simply did not.  Short-sighted of him.  

Hijacking & stealing directly from accounts was the logical next step.  Sellers are just neatly clustered there on Amazon in a big, big group - any predator's easy game apparently.

As for CS, they are just script-reading, underpaid ants that all these U.S. Corporations hire & abuse. They put these people in such bad positions with no help to offer those who contact them, as if the CS thing can run successfully on auto-pilot (or AI).  This has to be very, very stressful for little money.  When the anthill gets kicked (unscripted big problems), they all run around in circles for awhile. I feel sorry for them (except some of those moments when I am banging my head against a wall while trying to communicate with them).  

Perminate Link for Amazon Fraud Targets Sellers, Beware   Amazon Fraud Targets Sellers, Beware

by: Troy Stiffler This user has validated their user name.

Wed Apr 19 15:23:31 2017

Surprised not many are talking about this.

To be safe, Amazon now also has two-step verification, which adds a significant level of security. If you have any concern about your account being hacked, you should turn it on.

Perminate Link for Amazon Fraud Targets Sellers, Beware   Amazon Fraud Targets Sellers, Beware

by: WhatsUp2656 This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 12 15:11:40 2017

I have been suffering Amazon's mess, one issue and then another, loss of selling products and trying to compete with scammers. With this in mind, how in the world are they going to deal with anything beyond simple? They can't get that right. I think thousands of sellers will be creating their own domains to sell their products. It makes plenty of sense. Get away from outsourcing, included commission fees on top of the products, but rather get great personal services, lower prices, know who they are really buying from and forget about even trying to deal/cope with these nightmares. I truly don't see this getting any easier for a very long time. I have for my own records recorded call after call. When you explain, they might pick up two words and NO that is not what I said.



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