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Home ScamsPhishing Scams Clever Scam Email Targets People Who Sell on Amazon

Clever Scam Email Targets People Who Sell on Amazon

by Brett M. Christensen

If you sell on Amazon, keep an eye out for a fraudulent email that claims that there is a balance due on your Amazon seller account. 

The email falsely claims that the company attempted to charge your credit card for the balance due, but your card was declined. It urges you to click a link to update your credit card information. It warns that any payments to you will be suspended until the card is updated.

The email is professionally presented and appears to have been sent from a valid Amazon email address.

Despite its appearance, however, the email is not from Amazon. In fact, it is a criminal ruse designed to steal your personal and financial information. It uses email address spoofing to make it appear that the email came from Amazon when it actually came from an address that has no connection to the company.

If you click the “Seller Account Information” link, a fraudulent website will load in your browser.  The fake site has been built to emulate a genuine Amazon page.

Once on the fake site, you will be asked to sign in with your Amazon email address and password.  Next, you will be instructed to complete an update form that asks for your credit card details, your name, address, and contact details, and other identifying personal information.   You may then see a message claiming that you have successfully updated your account.

The criminals can now collect the information you supplied and use it to hijack your Amazon account,  conduct fraudulent transactions with your credit card, and attempt to steal your identity. 

It is always safest to login to your online accounts by entering the address into your browser’s address bar. If a company such as Amazon has sent you a message about a billing or account issue, it will most likely appear in your account’s internal inbox and will be accessible after you login to the account.

Scam attempts such as this one can often be thwarted by checking the web address that the messages link to before you click.  If the web address does not belong to the company who supposedly sent the message, it is likely to be a scam. This video from the Hoax-Slayer YouTube channel explains how to easily check links in suspicious emails:

You can submit suspected Amazon scam emails via the reporting information listed on the company’s website.


An example of the scam email

Greetings [mail address removed] from Amazon Services.

 

You have a balance due in your Amazon seller account. We attempted to charge your credit card for the balance, but your bank declined the charge.

 

For billing and security purposes, all Amazon sellers must provide valid credit card information from a credit card acceptable to Amazon. Please verify that the credit card information you have on file is correct, and contact your bank with questions related to the accuracy of the information you provided.

It is possible that the charge was declined due to a credit limit imposed by your bank. If that is the case, we will attempt to charge a lesser amount to your card as often as every 24 hours until the remaining balance in your seller account is paid in full.

 

If the card was declined for any other reason, you will need to update the credit card information in your seller account. Payment will be suspended until your credit card information has been updated. Go to Seller Account information to update your credit card.

 

Once your credit card information has been updated and verified, payment will be initiated on your next settlement date. Additionally, any fees owed for this settlement period will be charged to the credit card on your next settlement date.

 

As a reminder, for amounts you owe us, Amazon may charge any payment instrument you provide to us.

 

Thank you for selling on Amazon.

Amazon Services



Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,
Hoax-Slayer