As an experienced Amazon seller, I can tell you that the world of ecommerce is full of opportunities, but it also has its share of risks. Unfortunately, there are many unscrupulous individuals out there who are looking to take advantage of Amazon sellers, particularly those who are just starting out.
Want to learn more about selling on Amazon? Check out our complete guide.
In this article, we’ll share with you some of the most common Amazon seller scams to look out for and how to avoid them.
5 Amazon seller scams to watch out for
As an Amazon seller, you always have to stay on your toes and make sure you don’t fall victim to one of these scams and have your account put in jeopardy. Let’s go over some common Amazon seller scams to watch out for.
1. Account Hijacking Scams
Account hijacking is a common type of scam where fraudsters gain access to an Amazon seller’s account and use it for their own gain. Once the scammer gains access to your account, they can change the bank account information, update the product listings or even steal your sensitive business information.
To avoid account hijacking scams, you must set up two-factor authentication (required now by Amazon) on your account, use strong passwords (and change them every few months), and never give out your login details to anyone.
Monitor your account for any unusual activity or changes to your listings, product details, or account settings. You can use Jungle Scout Alerts to notify you if anything weird happens with your account or listings.
2. Phishing Scams
Phishing is a type of scam where fraudsters impersonate legitimate companies to trick users into giving out their sensitive information. These scams can be an email, text message, or phone call.
Here are a few examples of fake emails used by phishing con artists:
Reportedly, the link https://sellercentral-secure-amazon.com has been used in the past to ask sellers to sign in. At first glance, it appears legit because we see “seller central” and “Amazon” in the link.
But a quick copy/paste into an incognito browser shows me this:
To avoid falling victim to phishing scams, always check the sender’s email address or phone number and never click on suspicious links.
Amazon will never ask you to provide your login details or sensitive information through email or text message. Be cautious and vigilant when receiving emails and messages claiming to be from Amazon.
3. Listing Hijacking Scams
Listing hijacking scams involves fraudsters selling counterfeit or fake products under the guise of legitimate ones. And this happens all under your product listing, so a customer may think they’re ordering from you, but they really may be ordering a counterfeit product.
These blackhat sellers will “list a product” under your ASIN in hopes that a customer will order from them and not you, the legitimate seller. Once they get an order, they send a fake tracking number and never actually ship a product.
These scams not only harm your reputation as a business, but it may also lead to negative reviews, high-return rates, and other account issues.
To avoid inauthentic product scams or listing hijackings, always stay vigilant and check all your listings to be sure no other sellers have started “selling” your product. Also, check for duplicate listings of your products on Amazon. Again, you can use Jungle Scout Alerts to notify you if another seller hops onto your listing.
4. Amazon Suspension Scams
Amazon suspension scams involve fraudsters pretending to be Amazon staff or representatives, claiming that your account has been suspended or deactivated.
They then request payment or your account details to reactivate the account, promising to help you reinstate it. In reality, these individuals are scammers who have no connection with Amazon.
To avoid suspension scams, always confirm the legitimacy of the email or phone call with Amazon support before taking action. You should also review Amazon’s policies and seller code of conduct regularly to ensure you follow them correctly.
5. Fake Reviews Scams
Fake review scams involve individuals or companies selling fake reviews on Amazon. These reviews are often positive, and they are designed to boost the product’s sales and ranking. However, Amazon has strict policies against fake reviews, and sellers who get caught engaging in these activities can be suspended or banned from the platform.
To avoid fake reviews scams, never engage in activities that violate Amazon’s policies. Instead, focus on providing quality products and excellent customer service, and encourage your customers to leave honest and genuine reviews.
How to protect your business from Amazon seller scams
As an Amazon seller, you likely have a lot of time and money invested into your business, and you don’t want anyone to take that away from you – so you must protect yourself and your business.
One of the best ways to protect your brand and your products on Amazon is by enrolling your brand in the Amazon Brand Registry program.
Brand Registry is designed to protect your brand and your products from many of the scams listed above. Not only that, but you also get lots of advanced selling tools and advertising products that aren’t available for sellers not enrolled in the Brand Registry.
Amazon now has three tools in Brand Registry that combat counterfeit products:
- Transparency. “Proactively protect your brand and customers from counterfeit products, improve customer engagement, and identify supply chain defects.”
- Project Zero. “Access the unprecedented ability to immediately remove counterfeit listings – without the need to contact us.”
- Counterfeit Crimes Unit. “Help bring bad actors to justice by working with our legal team to build cases against counterfeiters.”
Brand owners will also have access to a Report a Violation tool so you can report bad actors, intellectual property infringements, or inaccurate listings.
Brand Registry is the best way Amazon sellers can protect their brand and products on Amazon.
Make sure your Amazon account is protected
Awareness of these common Amazon seller scams and taking steps to protect yourself are crucial to maintaining a successful and sustainable Amazon business.
Remember to keep your login details safe, never give out your sensitive information, and always verify the legitimacy of emails or phone calls claiming to be from Amazon. By staying vigilant and following Amazon’s policies, you can protect yourself and your business from falling victim to these scams.
Do you have more questions about Amazon seller scams? Let us know in the comments.