Amazon scams: How to Avoid Fake Buyers
One of the most well known crimes on Amazon is the Amazon return scam. Fraudsters target buyers and sellers on Amazon because it is a huge e-commerce marketplace, with many people unaware of the fraudsters' malicious practices.
As an Amazon seller, you should protect your shop from fraudsters who can cause losses to your business. Amazon buyers are also a target of these swindles, and they should be careful with the shops they purchase from.
Amazon scammers use different methods to swindle the buyers and sellers on the platform. Some will send links that will require you to give your personal information, while others claim that the products received are counterfeit or broken. Our article will mention the common types of Amazon scams and how to avoid fake buyers.
Types of Amazon Return Scams
Amazon scams have been in existence for a long time. Unfortunately, these scammers find new loopholes to con people on the site. Amazon sellers should be on the lookout for these scammers and protect their business and customers.
While the sellers are the main target of fake buyers, the buyers are also at risk. As a buyer, you could pay for an item and never receive it because the seller you bought from was not genuine.
Fake sellers also pose a danger to genuine sellers because buyers are less willing to purchase from a shop, especially when new and has no ratings. This is a disadvantage to beginners because it takes a while for their shop to get reviews and ratings.
Some of the common types of Amazon scammers are:
1. Replace and Refund
Replacement and refund type of crime is expected in the gaming industry. Once the scammer receives the product, they claim it is not functioning well. The buyer will then replace the good product with a broken one and ask for a refund.
The sellers undergo double losses because they get a return of the wrong product and reverse the transaction to the buyer. To protect your business from replace and refund scammers, use stickers on the items.
Get a tamper-proof sticker to attach to all the gaming products once they undergo testing. The buyer, who is the scammer, will try to tamper with the sticker, but it breaks in the process. Using stickers is also a perfect way to ensure the product returned is the one you sent.
2. Email Scams
Scammers use email to spread links that could ask the buyer for their details. Note that Amazon does not ask for passwords and your account details. Also, Amazon does not ask the customers to log in using their email.
Sellers should always log in to their accounts directly on the app and not through other links. Also, avoid emails that are not from the official Amazon domain. You can block and delete them or ignore them altogether.
Note that all the emails you get should appear on your seller central account. Before sending items to buyers, ensure that they appear on "Your Orders" to verify that the buyer placed the order.
3. Failed Delivery
Failed delivery is one of the earliest scams Amazon sellers face. Some buyers place orders, and once the seller delivers, they claim a failed delivery. The seller has to resend the item or refund the customer, incurring losses.
Luckily, the advancing technology is an advantage to Amazon sellers because they can use shipping methods with tracking options. They can see the order's movement until it gets to the buyer. Besides, there is an option to verify that the item was delivered, which also shows the delivery time.
The tracking options on shipping methods are a lifesaver to merchants of expensive items. If the buyer claims that they did not receive the item, you have enough evidence to show that it was sent and delivered to protect yourself from those scammers.
4. FBA Return Fraud
Amazon requires that when a buyer returns a product, it is taken to the Amazon Fulfillment Centre. Once the product gets there, an amazon employee inspects it to see the condition and the reason for the return.
If, after examination, the product is found to be okay for use, the employee will take it back to the store for reselling. However, some products are worthless and will be classified as unsellable.
Sometimes, the Amazon employee could undergo pressure, and they will fail to notice an unworthy product. If they put it back for resale and, unfortunately, purchase it, you will have an unfit item. Ensure that you track all your return requests to avoid getting faulty returns.
5. Credit Card Fraud
The improvement in technology comes with its advantages and disadvantages. For example, there is an increase in cybercrimes that target buyers who shop online. Cybercriminals steal people's credit and debit card numbers and purchase items.
Items bought with stolen credit cards are shipped to different addresses to make them harder to trace. When it happens, the cardholders can claim that they did not purchase the items and ask for a chargeback.
Chargebacks affect the seller and are frustrating to deal with. The seller will also be required to verify that the transaction was legitimate, which can cost a lot of money and time.
When the bank or credit card company finds out that the purchase was not from the cardholder, they could charge an additional fee to the seller for being ignorant.
Scammers who use the phishing method to scam Amazon sellers and buyers do it through emails. They send malicious links to random people. If you open the link, it could ask you for your personal information like passwords and other accounts.
Other phishing scammers pretend to be trusted companies and steal your private information. Although they could fail to steal from you through Amazon, they can use your bank details and accounts to purchase items.
How to Avoid Scammers
Although there are many cases of people landing in the hands of scammers, there are ways to protect yourself and your business from fraud. You could incur many losses if you are an Amazon seller and are scammed to refund or resend an order that did not arrive.
Some of the best ways to stay away from scammers are;
1. Put Stickers on Your Items
It is easy to identify items from your shop by having a unique sticker. It will protect you from the replacement and refund conmen. However, your sticker should be tamper-proof so that it is unremovable.
2. Request for photos
When a buyer claims that the item is counterfeit or damaged, ask them to send photos. This will help you understand the problem you are dealing will, and you will also be able to identify if it is the same product you sent.
3. Track Items Using the Shipping Methods
To avoid the failed delivery scam, ensure you keep an eye on all the items you send through the tracking option on the shipping methods. It shows you how the product was shipped and the delivery dates.
Amazon is a big e-commerce market, and even the more experienced platform user can easily be a victim of the Amazon return scam. The scammers target buyers and sellers, so all Amazon users should be careful and avoid giving your personal information to strangers and opening malicious links.