Amazon’s marketplace troubles may be even broader than reported, according to some sellers.
On top of the recent issues with hackers stealing account credentials of legitimate but inactive merchants and selling non-existent items, a report from Inc suggests that fraudsters are also making new accounts.
Dubbed the “just launched” scam, fraudsters take advantage of naive buyers by creating new fraudulent accounts. They search for the most in-demand items and then pretend they too are offering the coveted items for sale — and at a much lower cost than other merchants.
By the time buyers realize they’ve been scammed, the fraudster has already run off with the cash, leaving Amazon to foot the refund.
Amazon notably withholds payment to sellers until it is confident customers have received their orders. The online retail giant guarantees a full refund if a product doesn’t arrive or isn’t as advertised.
“There have always been bad actors in the world who try to take advantage of consumers for financial gain,” said an Amazon spokesperson. “However, as fraudsters get smarter, so do we.”
“Just launched” fraudsters compound Amazon’s issues with its Marketplace. On top of account takeovers, hackers have been targeting Amazon merchants by changing bank deposit information of active sellers to steal tens of thousands of dollars from each.
The uptick in fraud on Amazon is likely the net result of recent data breaches, wherein hackers lifted password credentials and sold them on the dark web to criminals. Since many users recycle passwords, fraudsters are then able to hijack additional accounts consumers may have.
PayPal and eBay have both faced similar hacks of late — though these days Amazon is a favored target, as its third party marketplace continues to grow.