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3 notorious Amazon scams to watch out for this year

With big success on Amazon comes an even bigger risk of being targeted by bad actors. To lower and eventually eliminate this risk, we’ll talk about the common scams that have infiltrated Amazon and the tactics you can use to combat them:

BIG IDEA

Seller scams have been around for decades, evolving continuously to exploit new avenues. Amazon combats this through the A-to-z Guarantee but bad actors continue to be a problem in the marketplace.

A study discovered that 100 new counterfeit accounts are created daily, with this number spiking during high-traffic periods.

⚠️ To reinforce your business’ defense, SellerApp compiled the top 3 notorious Amazon scams and the strategies to protect your business against them:

1. Phishing

This age-old scam tricks people into sharing personal information by posing as reputable websites. Usually, scammers send emails with malicious links to steal passwords and other private data.

How to avoid: Implement email authentication protocols like DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) and Sender Policy Framework (SPF).

2. The "failed delivery" scam

In this tactic, fraudsters falsely claim that an item never arrived even if it did. Then, they request either a replacement or a refund.

How to avoid: Use track-and-trace postage for expensive items and require recipient signatures upon delivery.

3. The "replace & refund" scam

Bad actors order products, swap them with defective ones, and then return them for refunds.

How to avoid: Conduct quality tests, use tamper-proof stickers, and clearly state warranty policies in product descriptions.

🛡️ Steps to safeguard your seller account

  • Stay vigilant: Immediately notify Amazon of any suspicious behavior.
  • Secure your account: Use strong, regularly updated passwords and enable 2-step verification. Consider using Google Authenticator for an extra layer of security.
  • Mind your mailbox: Watch out for phishing emails and URLs. Amazon emails should have correct spelling and come from "@amazon.com" addresses.
  • Enable push notifications on your auto repricer tools: Some sellers will try to eliminate you by setting prices low. This helps you track fraudulent accounts more effectively.
  • Never share confidential information: Amazon will never request personal details or passwords.

Bonus tip: Be proactive

Amazon's policies can be reactive, meaning they can only assist once an issue has occurred. If you want to ensure your survival and security on the platform, be ready to combat issues even if they're not yet visible. 👀

TOGETHER WITH SELLER ALLIANCE

How to grow your network as an Amazon seller

Selling on Amazon can be challenging. Sometimes, seeking assistance from real-time experts proves more effective than binge-watching tutorials on YouTube.

With the complexities of the world’s largest ecommerce platform, one thing is clear—you need help. Building a strong network is essential for success.

A network of ecommerce experts can give you increased sales opportunities, access to resources, mentorship, and guidance.

🤝 Now, let’s get started in growing your network. Supercharge your efforts with the following tips: 

  • Join seller forums. Find helpful Amazon community spaces where you can ask and share information with other Amazon sellers and marketing experts. 
  • Attend conferences. You’ll meet your potential partners, suppliers, and experienced sellers at e-commerce conferences and trade shows. 
  • Partner with an agency. Aside from offering comprehensive account management services, agencies can introduce you to valuable contacts and resources within Amazon. 
  • Sign up with seller organizations. Tick all those boxes when you sign up with a seller organization. Get unlimited support from the best people in ecommerce and see your business skyrocket.

Ready to expand your reach while growing your Amazon business? Join the Seller Alliance community and enjoy these perks:

  • FREE 14-day trial
  • $47/monthly subscription, commitment-free OR
  • Enjoy $397/year (a whooping $367/year worth of savings) exclusive for our SellerBites subscribers!

BITES OF THE WEEK

TRENDING TOPIC

42% of Gen Zs engage in friendly fraud—what does this cost your business?

Did you know online threats aren’t always caused by hackers and spammers? Culprits can also come in the form of your cherished customers!

According to Fast Company and Inc., 42% of Gen Zs commit friendly fraud—accidentally (sometimes deliberately) turning genuine purchases into fraudulent claims. As a result, retail businesses face a $100 billion headache every year.

But why?

  • Lack of awareness. Younger consumers aren’t aware they're pulling a fraud. To them, it's more like they're teaching a clever "hack."
  • Economic pressures. Increased anxiety among younger generations because of rising prices and job cuts may lead them to justify chargebacks as a way to manage tight budgets.
  • Shifting ethical perspectives. Some see filing a chargeback as a harmless act that only hurts big companies. In reality, business owners AND consumers bear the burden. For instance, companies may offset their losses through price increases.

⚔️ So, how do you face this challenge?

  • Ensure clarity in customer interactions to avoid misunderstandings that lead to chargebacks.
  • Clearly outline cancellation and return procedures to mitigate confusion.
  • Promptly address customer concerns and provide alternatives to dissuade chargebacks.
  • Maintain meticulous transaction records to refute baseless claims.

Above all, you must understand the nuances of friendly fraud to protect your finances, maintain customer trust, and lessen the economic impacts of this increasing trend. 🔎

ACTIONABLE ADVICE

Innovative security strategies for small and medium-sized businesses

Good news: Hopeful sellers can easily enter the Amazon marketplace.

Bad news: Fraudsters take advantage of the easy entry to wreak havoc and hurt honest businesses. 

😈 On top of that, these scammers are always scouting for easy targets, especially small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Fortunately, America's Small Business Network crafted a cheat sheet of strategies to keep the cyber-criminals at bay:

  • Multi-factor Authentication (MFA). You can try two foolproof MFA tactics to fend off unauthorized access:
    • Two-factor Authentication (2FA): Customers prove their identity with a password and a unique code sent to their phone or email.
    • Biometric authentication: Think fingerprints and facial recognition, taking security to the next level.
  • Address Verification Service (AVS). As your trusty sidekick in verifying billing addresses, AVS helps:
    • Solicit billing address: AVS cross-checks the addresses customers input with credit card issuer records.
    • Flag discrepancies: If there's a mismatch, AVS raises a red flag for closer inspection or outright rejection.
  • Regular security audits and updates. Aside from regular check-ups and the latest gear to combat cyber threats, you must:
    • Use automated tools to regularly scan for vulnerabilities.
    • Keep your platform and plugins up-to-date for that extra layer of security.
    • Make sure your payment system meets the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) standard for handling card data safely.
  • Machine learning and AI-based fraud detection. This technology will help you spot trouble before it happens by:
    • Gathering info on past transactions—both legit and shady—to train the system.
    • Teach the system to recognize the patterns of fraudsters.
    • Let AI flag suspicious transactions for your review. The more it learns, the better it gets.

🔒 In ecommerce, staying safe is a team effort. By beefing up your defenses, you’re not just protecting your business—you’re creating a trusted online haven for your customers.

Author : SellerBites
Faith began working on SellerBites in 2021, a weekly newsletter that provides sellers with the latest news and updates in FBA. With first-hand experience in managing various seller and vendor accounts, she understands what sellers face on this platform. Her background led to the conception of SellerBites, which main goal is to help people become better, more informed entrepreneurs in the Amazon marketplace.
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