Amazon customers beware: fraudsters have been targeting Amazon shoppers by creating seller accounts or taking control of genuine vendors to trick users into purchasing expensive items at unrealistically low prices.
An over £2,000, 55-inch LG OLED TV was on sale for half its price and labeled as a “used-like new” article by a vendor called ScElegance Electronics, according to a recent investigation by Comparitech. When the customer places the order for the TV, an error message appears asking the buyer “to complete the purchase outside of the Amazon system in a convincing phishing attempt.” The user never receives the item and Amazon will not offer a refund as the payment was not made through their system.
“Payment within the Amazon.co.uk site is the only authorized and recognized form of payment for items sold by Sellers on Amazon.co.uk. Every customer who orders on Amazon.co.uk is covered by our A-to-z guarantee; however items paid for outside of the Amazon.co.uk Marketplace aren’t eligible for protection,” the company said.
Comparitech’s researcher exchanged emails with the scammers, pretending to be an interested buyer, to discover the modus operandi: The scammer claims the problem has been fixed and sends out a confirmation email and final invoice that mimic the Amazon template. The user is asked to make a transfer to a private bank account in the name Darva Arron.
Although Amazon has been informed of the existence of fake vendor accounts, the company hasn’t been able to fully block them as the scammers constantly set up new accounts.