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