Amazon Seller Scams | How to Stay Protected

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Ecommerce fraud is a massive problem in online retail, specifically on Amazon. In fact, Amazon spent $1.2 billion fighting fraud on its platform. While ecommerce fraud affects consumers, several scams target sellers.

As an ecommerce seller, you have many rewards. You can be your own boss and sell the products you love. But in any line of business, there are risks. It’s best to prepare for these risks than catch you off guard–especially since you’re dealing with sensitive customer information.

Identifying and preventing these scams can be difficult, especially for the new seller. Here, we will explain some common Amazon seller scams and how to protect your business and customers.


Do Amazon Seller Scams Really Exist?


Not only do Amazon seller scams exist, but they’re only becoming more prevalent. In fact, Amazon seller scams are the top reason for consumer fraud losses. 

This is one of the many reasons the FTC passed the INFORM Consumers Act and why Amazon requires seller identity verification.

All sellers should take these scams seriously for many reasons. First, they jeopardize your business data and put your customers at risk. If scammers win over your customers, you lose that business. 

These scammers also impact Amazon. If a customer gets scammed, they will be less likely to use Amazon’s platform for future purchases.

hird party seller scams

Most Dangerous Amazon Seller Scams


All Amazon sellers should be alert and aware of any suspicious activity on the platform. You should especially be on the lookout for these specific scams.




Phishing is one of the most common Amazon seller scams. They can present themselves as texts, emails, or phone calls. During a phishing attack, a fraudster will disguise itself as someone else to trick the recipient into giving out sensitive data. 

The phishing scams that target sellers are the “fake sign-in window” scams. This is when you’ll access a faulty Amazon Seller Central window and log in with your credentials. From here, the scammers will steal your login credentials.


Account Hijacking


The phishing scam often leads to Amazon account hijacking. This is when the hacker will change your account for their benefit. Examples include adding fake product listings, changing bank account information, or stealing information that will benefit them.

The scariest part about account hijacking is that it’s not always easy to detect when someone else can access your account. You can stay on the lookout for failed sign-in attempts, changes in your product listings, or any type of unusual activity.


Amazon Suspension Scams


One of the most terrifying Amazon seller scams involves fraudsters posing as Amazon staff members and informing you that your Seller Central account has been suspended or deactivated. 

They may then request that you sign in, including a link in the email that supposedly takes you to your account. Some may also demand payment.

If you receive this scam, contact Amazon. You should also read back on their email, finding out the reason behind your suspension (Amazon will inform you why your account has been suspended and any corrective actions you must take–they won’t ask for payment to reinstate it). 

If you feel compelled to log into your Amazon Seller Central account, do so by opening a separate tab and typing in the URL–never open the link included in the email.


Listing Hijacking


You can get scammed without even knowing it. One of the most common Amazon scams is listing hijacking, which occurs when a fraudster steals your product information, including your ASIN, and creates a fake listing. 

One of your customers may think they’re ordering from you, not realizing the listing is counterfeit. Your customers won’t realize they have been scammed until they never receive the product.

Listing hijacking can impact your business in many ways. You’ll lose a potential sale and possibly customers. This scam can also result in negative reviews and even account issues.

The best course of action is to check all your listings. Regularly search your ASIN and products on Amazon to ensure only the ones you create appear. If you find any sketchy duplicates, notify Amazon.


Failed Delivery


This is one of the most common Amazon refund scams. It targets the buyer but affects the seller. 

Say a customer purchases an item from you and is waiting for delivery. One day, they receive an email that says “failed delivery” and includes a button to request a refund. The customer clicks the button, and you pay the refund–but instead of the refund ending up in the customer’s pocket, the money is in the fraudster’s hands.

The customer may not know they were scammed and will point fingers at you. This can result in negative feedback and even dropping seller performance metrics.

Since you’re in the seller’s shoes, you may not think there’s much you can do to prevent this issue. In reality, there is. 

Start by offering your customer comprehensive tracking information and automate email or text shipping notifications.


Email Scams


There are multiple examples of email scams that target sellers, but one we haven’t discussed is where a fraudster poses as a customer. 

They may reach out to your business, inquiring about an order. The “customer” may request information about your business and report a faulty product, wanting a refund.

Never act before verifying the order. If the customer doesn’t provide an order number, ask them for one. If they claim they don’t have an order number, look up the customer’s email address.

 If you can’t find any orders with that information, delete the email and don’t respond. Never open any attachments customers send unless you know the sender is legitimate.


Replace & Refund Scam


This is one of the most popular Amazon return scams customers implement on sellers. Let’s say a customer orders a product but requests a refund, saying the item is damaged. They will show an image of a similar product as proof. As a result, you will refund the customer. Since the customer doesn’t need to ship back the product, they’re essentially getting a free item.

There are still ways to identify this scam. One method is to place an identifier, such as a sticker, on the product. 

Before refunding the customer, ask them to take a picture of the sticker. If they don’t, they might be trying to scam you. Certain sellers work with third-party warranty companies instead of issuing refunds themselves. If this is the case, ask the customer to contact the company in charge of the warranty instead.

seller scams on amazon

Tools to Prevent Amazon Seller Scams


Since seller scams are such a huge problem, what is Amazon doing to keep e-commerce businesses and buyers safe? Amazon offers a few tools to protect your brand from scams. These include:

  • Amazon Transparency offersUnique codes sellers can apply to their products to prevent counterfeit products and listings. 
  • Counterfeit Crimes Unit, a legal team that builds cases against fraudsters.
  • Report Infringement Form, is an online form where sellers report counterfeiters using their trademarks or copyrights.
  • Project Zero can remove counterfeit listings without needing to contact Amazon.

There are still some other best practices that sellers should develop, such as creating a MAP policy.


How to Identity and Prevent Amazon Seller Scams


While Amazon seller scams happen, there are many steps you can take to prevent them from happening. Here are some tips to get you started.


Never Share Confidential Information


While this may seem common sense, you may slip up and give your credentials to a trusted employee. Even though you may trust this person, they may have your credentials or data stored somewhere a hacker can access.

As a general rule, try not to share any confidential information. If you give your credentials to Amazon, ensure you speak to a company representative.


Enable Two-Step Verification


It can be difficult to know when a hacker compromises your account, but there are ways to monitor when someone logs in. 

One of the easiest ways to do this is by enabling two-step verification. This is when Amazon sends you a code to log into your account.

Ensure you link two-step verification to your phone number if a hacker gains access to your email.


Turn on Push Notifications


If you haven’t already, keep your Amazon push notifications on. This is an easy way to track any changes to your account, such as pricing updates. As a result, you can target unwanted fraudsters more easily.


View All Customer Inquiries


Responding to consumers offers more than excellent customer service–it’s a good way to identify fraud.

Your customers are often the first ones that scammers affect, so they will inform you of problems such as failed deliveries. If you respond to questions and comments, this lets Amazon know you’re a trusted seller, and they will easily identify duplicate or counterfeit listings.

It’s still important to ensure your buyers are also not scamming you. Always request details of the product or order to ensure they’re being honest.


Pay Attention to All Email Addresses


Phishing artists are smart and can use Amazon email scams to access your data. Even if the email looks legitimate and features the correct branding, always check the email address before acting. 

Oftentimes, it will be obvious that the email is from a fraudulent account. For example, all Amazon emails will end in the URL. Even if the email looks legitimate, if the address is from a different account, it’s likely from a phishing artist. 

Some URLs may be from an account like, which isn’t an Amazon email. If the email is from a major provider, such as Gmail or Hotmail, it’s guaranteed that it’s a phishing email. 


Report Fraudulent Activity to Amazon


If you suspect or are a victim of fraud, report it to Amazon. Follow the prompt on this page or email Amazon at [email protected]. If Amazon doesn’t respond, go to the Amazon Seller Forums and report the strange activity to other sellers.


Prevent Amazon Seller Scams and Keep Your Data Safe


Amazon seller scams are a massive problem, and fraudsters aren’t slowing down. Sellers are the target of many scams, from a customer claiming falsely damaged products to full-on phishing. As a seller, it’s vital to be aware of the most common scams and how to prevent them.

Another way to identify seller scams on Amazon is by working with a dedicated team. With multiple eyes on your account and a thorough strategy, it will be easier to identify any suspicious activity.

Are you ready to get started? Click here to learn more about our services.



Stephanie JensenStephanie Jensen has been writing e-commerce content for seven years, and her copy has helped numerous stores rank on Amazon. Follow her on LinkedIn for more insight into freelance writing and creating high-quality content.

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