Amazon’s status as the world’s largest online marketplace means that it attracts many scammers and we-do-wells. Although the service comes with many built-in protections it cannot be able to monitor for all possible threats.
Amazon scams can quickly take your money. You should know the signs and steps to avoid falling for these Amazon scams.
Warning Signs and Amazon Scams
Amazon has a few scams that are more common than others. These scams can be avoided by looking out for red flags.
Suspicious Payment Arrangements
It’s a scam if you click on a link to Amazon to buy a product you like, but it takes you away from Amazon’s site. This is not only a violation of the terms and conditions that Amazon sellers sign up for but also a flashing neon sign that warns you that it is a scam.
You can almost guarantee that any seller asking you to leave Amazon to make a purchase will be a scam or phishing attempt. Even if it’s not, you can lose any buyer protections and the ability to return a purchase made outside of Amazon.
Avoid Massive Discounts
It’s true what they say: “If it seems too good to be true it probably is.” You should not click on the link to purchase a PlayStation 5 at $50. It won’t be a PlayStation if you don’t receive any after purchase.
Massive discounts on items that are much more expensive elsewhere could indicate that the seller wants to persuade you into making an impulse purchase. Look closely at any branding. It will likely look something like “PlayStation” – and not “PlayStation”. A product off-brand that appears exactly like the real thing, but with closer inspection.
Payment Verification Emails
Many buyers get emails that look suspiciously like they are from Amazon. The message reads, “Your payment could not be verified.” You should update your payment information. The link will take them to a site that appears very similar to Amazon but isn’t.
This classic phishing attempt is yet another. However, it’s done so well that it is nearly impossible to tell the difference from the real deal. Never update your payment information through an email link. Instead, log in to your Amazon account using a secure browser.
Beware of Long Ship Times
Amazon has become a place where customers can expect fast shipping times. It almost feels too long if you don’t get your order within two days. It is important to note that Amazon does not pay sellers immediately. In many cases, it takes 14 days or longer for payment.
A seller who takes too long to ship items can indicate a scam. It’s possible that the seller is trying to delay payment and cancel the order by shipping for more than two weeks.
Be on the Lookout for New Sellers
Amazon is home to many seller accounts. However, it has a strong security system that blocks most scammers. Amazon will quickly ban an account if it receives numerous negative reviews.
Many scammers have multiple accounts. Pay attention to the reviews and the age of your account. Be cautious if it’s a new account. If there are no seller reviews, the same applies.
However, it can also be a warning sign if you see too many positive reviews. There are entire companies that exist solely to post fake Amazon reviews. Be skeptical about making a purchase from an account that sounds too good to be true.
What To Do If You Get Scammed by Amazon
Scams can happen to anyone, unfortunately. Sometimes scams happen no matter how careful you are. You might have been in a rush or clicked the wrong thing. No matter what, you have options.
Contact Amazon support first. You can either send an email to the company or chat with them live. Please provide as much detail as possible.
Amazon will usually refund any expenses in most cases. You will receive a receipt from Amazon and details about the date and purchase via your Amazon user dashboard.
Next, report security issues. Although this is likely to be done automatically when your fraud report is filed, it’s worth following up. Let your financial institutions know if you gave information to the seller that could identify you.
Also, you should monitor your email for non-official communication from Amazon. Do not respond to a message you received from a scammer. Instead, forward the email and notify Amazon.
Avoiding scams is not always easy. Scammers will find ways to bypass all the safeguards. Avoid getting conned by scammers by being cautious about any purchases. Be aware of the listing and avoid impulse purchases whenever possible.
Avoid falling for many obvious scams by following basic safety tips online. Shop slow and only shop with trusted sellers. Amazon is generally a safe platform. However, there are a few bad apples that can ruin your shopping experience.