Amazon Scam Follow Up: Fake Tracking, Shutdown Accounts & A Final Resolution!

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Amazon Low Price Possible Scam – Follow Up

Last week I covered a disturbing recent trend on Amazon. Specifically, tons of accounts with either no reviews or only old reviews are selling products at far below the market rate. For more info see: WARNING: Too Good to be True Amazon Pricing, Possible Scam Accounts & How to Protect Yourself

The Test

To test how these scams were working, I decided to order a Nintendo Switch controller. Normally the price is $80 or so, however I found an amazing seller willing to give it to me for less than $7! What a deal.

Within 12 hours of placing the order, I received an email that my unit had shipped. I logged into the Amazon website and found a USPS tracking number. Was I actually going to get this item? To start, I went to the USPS website.

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It’s a trap! Since I did want to see how this would play out, I also sent the seller a message. No response. Still, I decided to give it a few days to marinate. Perhaps they would ship it and the tracking would catch up?!? Nope!

In the mean time other buyers who were scammed started leaving reviews. If you remember, this particular seller had 131 reviews with most of them being positive. The kicker was the most recent reviews were from 2013. I speculated that the account was hacked.

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The review at the time of my purchase.

Those reviews look promising. Unfortunately after a week, the reviews look like this:

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This particular seller also appears to now be shut down by Amazon. They come quickly, sell a bunch of stuff and then disappear. For some reason their product catalog is still showing, however it says all of their products are “Currently Unavailable”. My guess is Amazon suspended their selling “privileges”.

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Getting A Refund

At this point the only thing left for me to do was to get a refund. Thankfully Amazon’s chat is pretty easy to navigate. I told the agent that the tracking number provided was fake and pointed out the negative reviews and the seller’s status. I imagine some people would be upset and might ask for compensation from Amazon for the inconvenience. I did not do that considering this was an experiment. I simply asked for my money back and it was given.

2 Factor Authentication

Amazon allows you to enable two factor authentication on your account. This means that you will receive a text message to authenticate your account when using it on a new device. Anyone who sells on Amazon should do this right away. Don’t take the chance of your seller account being hacked and your selling history ruined. You can find more info on Amazon 2 Factor Authentication here.

Conclusion

These scam accounts are no doubt costing Amazon a lot of time and money. Good on Amazon for making things right, however they obviously knew that this was a problem account, but never proactively contacted me. It proves you need to be vigilant and that if it’s too good to be true then it probably is!


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8 COMMENTS

  1. The scammers I saw were not hacked accounts, they were BRAND NEW ones with no feedback and they would get deleted and then immediately come back with another moniker.

    A few weeks ago, the scammers had way low prices on this item.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B000634MH8/ref=dp_olp_all_mbc?ie=UTF8&condition=all

    But now there are still 2 scammers but their prices are closer to market. (slightly under)

    $19.50
    + $14.49 shipping + $0.00 estimated tax

    New

    •Arrives between April 14 – May 1.
    • Ships from CA, United States.

    Helbergfzla

    Just Launched (Seller Profile)
    ———
    The just launched is usually a dead giveaway. But in this case, the scammers price isn’t way too low but I’m still confident they are scammers.

    I just don’t know how easy it is for the scammers to pull money out.

    Also, there needs to be an easy way to report these scammers.

  2. I think it happened on Ebay too. I purchased a Minn Kota Talon which was $100 under the prevailing price from a new seller. Tracking no. was available right away but no new status even after a week. I finally filed a non-receipt case.
    I don’t worry too much as a seller myself, I don’t receive payment after 30 days or so if you don’t have an established record.
    It does cause me stress though.

  3. I too bit on some Maui Jim Sunglasses. Bought 5 pair at $25 a pair, I know, its a scam but what the heck. Seller responded twice to inquiries which I thought was interesting. USPS tracking was bogus… I asked for my money back and it was returned.

  4. I went (fell) for a similar deal (scam) on eBay one month ago. I was looking for a used/refurbished laptop, and one seller there was offering factory refurbished HP laptops at ultra cheap prices. It was fairly obvious that there was some type of pricing error, but I bought a batch of them anyway to see what would happen. My credit card was charged through PayPal, but the following day I got an e-mail from eBay stating the seller’s account may have been hacked.

    Long story short, I was refunded my money. This (Amazon) scam sounds almost identical.

  5. Wasn’t the tracking number kind of a giveaway? Usps doesn’t end a tracking number with letters except for “US”

    • Going back to my original post, I knew 99.9% that this was a scam to begin with. I just wanted to share the process of buying from one of these accounts to help readers understand what happens.

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