The popularity of Amazon as an online shopping platform has also grabbed the attention of criminal groups and thieves who are looking for ways to significantly benefit from cyber fraud. They’ve continued to target regular Amazon shoppers for their illegal activities on the Web over the past several years. They constantly scrape contact details of both sellers and buyers in this online shopping network. They use these for their phishing scams where they trick users into unknowingly giving away their personal details, private credentials and financial information.
They think of all kinds of confidence schemes and social manipulation tactics to lure more users into their cyber fraud traps. Posing as the sellers of wildly popular products in Amazon, they contact buyers who are most likely interested in these products. They fool users into believing that they can get these products at irresistible discounted prices when they send money via cash-only remittance outlets and money transmitters. Of course, as soon as the victim sends money through these platforms, the scammer runs away with it. The victim ends up without any option for recovering his or her money. That’s because transactions through these platforms are non-refundable and irreversible.
They also defraud Amazon sellers by posing as legitimate digital marketers. In this cyber fraud, they sign up in the Amazon affiliate network. Once approved, they use stolen credit cards to purchase expensive products through their affiliate links. This provides them with commissions for each product that they buy with their stolen credit cards. Before chargebacks for the unauthorized transactions are filed by legitimate card holders, the scammer has collected his or her commissions. This means the Amazon seller needs to pay chargeback fees once their products are returned to them. However, this isn’t usually the case since many thieves ship their products to other criminals with anonymous safety drop-off points.
How Can Amazon Buyers & Merchants Avoid Cyber Fraud?
The first thing you should do is to be more vigilant in all your day-to-day activities not just in Amazon, but also all over the Web. Verify the authenticity of any message that you receive. Confirm the identities of the buyers, sellers and affiliates who you deal with in Amazon. Don’t believe irresistible promos and exclusive discounts before authenticating that the offers are real. Just like with other types of cyber fraud – If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
Next, confirm that the anti-phishing and anti-spam functions of your device and applications are activated. Many Webmail platforms, email client programs, chat applications, social network apps and other Internet platforms have built-in features for blocking spam and phishing scams. You’ll be able to avoid many forms of cyber fraud when you do this, since a lot of Web crimes and online scams are carried out through phishing attacks and spam emails.
Lastly, you should set up a system where you can get timely alerts about the newest forms of cyber fraud at the moment. Online communities like BigScammers.com provide a convenient way for you to do this. Just simply sign up at this website, and you’ll be able to instantly receive notifications and updates straight in your email inbox each time a user publishes or updates a scam complaint or a Web crime report in this online platform.