How to Avoid Amazon Scams as a Seller
Amazon scams aren’t just a concern for online shoppers; sellers need to protect themselves as well. Here are 4 common scams and how to avoid them.
Amazon scams have been around since the earliest days of the eCommerce marketplace’s existence. And while we often think of scams as something shoppers need to be wary of, sellers are being increasingly targeted by savvy criminals as well.
As an Amazon seller, being victimized by a scam can cost you money, time, and in the worst circumstances, even your entire business. So let’s take a look at some of the most common Amazon scams that sellers need to avoid, as well as how to protect yourself from them.
The Failed Delivery Amazon Scam
The failed delivery scam is when a buyer receives their order, but claims it never showed up. When successful, the fraudster then ends up with the item(s) they ordered plus a refund of the purchase price or a replacement item for free.
This can be a difficult Amazon scam to recognize and avoid, as items are genuinely lost in transit at times. But you can protect yourself by using tracking services for all of your packages. You will then be able to see exactly where and when an item was delivered. Sellers can also go a step further and require signatures upon delivery (this method is typically reserved for more expensive items or orders).
The Replace & Refund Amazon Scam
Here’s another Amazon scam that can be difficult to detect and avoid, but that is also growing increasingly common — especially in the gaming industry.
Amazon’s customer-centric approach means shoppers can receive a replacement for any damaged or lower-quality-than-advertised item (such as a product being sold as “new” when it is clearly used). Scammers are taking advantage of this policy by already having damaged or old items on hand when they order a new product from a seller. They then dishonestly claim the damaged item was the one sent to them by the seller, enabling them to receive a free replacement and / or a refund.
Falling victim to this scam can not only cost you time and money, it can also damage your seller reputation and may even lead to you unfairly incurring Amazon penalties. A good way to avoid the replace and refund Amazon scam is to place tamper-proof stickers on your products that tear or break when someone tries to remove them. Just be sure to note that you use these stickers in your product description (which will not only notify honest customers to expect them, but may also deter potential scammers from targeting you).
For Amazon sellers, phishing scammers are most likely to pose as Amazon or an authority at Amazon in order to seem legitimate and lure you into sharing your personal info (such as account numbers, login details, etc.). These scam attempts are typically sent in the form of emails, but can also come in other forms, such as a text message.
They will include links and attachments that, if clicked on, contain viruses and spyware designed to steal your info from any device being used. The best way to protect yourself: NEVER click any links or attachments unless you are positive about who the sender is. You should also be wary of potential spoof callers who will attempt to get you to share data over the phone. If you’re ever unsure, or if you’re ever asked to do something you aren’t comfortable with, hang up (or close the email / text message) and contact Amazon directly.
In addition to phishing attempts, there are countless ways scammers may target you via email. For instance, you may receive an email that says your Amazon account will be terminated if you don’t do X action by X date. The message will likely include a button for you to click on to “sign in to your Amazon account” and correct the issue.
To protect yourself, don’t ever click through to your Amazon account from an email. If you receive a message that says your account is in jeopardy, then close that message and pull up Amazon in your browser to log in. When there are, in fact, any problems with your account, you will see them when safely logged in. If not, notify Amazon of the scam attempt.
Remember, scammers are savvy. The email you receive might have Amazon’s logo, style and even appear to be from the company. That doesn’t mean it is. Look for things like incorrect grammar, asking you to pay money, tiny discrepancies in the “from” address (such as an “m” rather than an “n” at the end of “Amazon”), etc. When unsure, just go to Amazon from your own browser or call them directly.
If You Think You’ve Been Scammed…
If you think you’ve already been scammed, there are things you can do to remedy the situation.
First of all, if you ever click on a link or attachment you’re unsure of, change your Amazon password (and any other passwords used on your device) immediately. You should also contact Amazon, as they have certain loss protection safeguards and protocols in place to defend sellers against scams. But keep in mind: Amazon’s customer-centric approach is known for coming down on the side of the buyer in a your-word-versus-theirs scenario. That’s why it’s important to follow the protection measures outlined in the sections above (especially as they pertain to the “failed delivery” and “replace and refund” Amazon scams).
From scams to legitimate customer inquiries, staying on top of your messaging can be overwhelming. Turn to Replyco for help. We enable Amazon sellers to centralize all of their messaging into one easy-to-use inbox. And with tools such as smart auto-responders, message templates and more, you can save time while delighting shoppers and improving your Amazon seller metrics.