Amazon Scams 2023: Navigating the World’s Largest Marketplace Safely

Photo of author
Written By Christopher Truax

With a master's degree in telecommunications and over 15 years of experience working in telecom, networking, and cybersecurity, Christopher deeply understands the value and importance of cybersecurity. Leveraging his extensive experience and knowledge, Christopher thoroughly researches the latest cyber threats, scams, malware, and viruses.

What is Amazon?

Amazon is the world’s largest online marketplace that offers a wide range of products and services, providing convenience and accessibility to millions of customers worldwide. With its extensive selection, competitive pricing, and quick delivery options, Amazon has become a go-to platform for online shopping.

However, as the popularity of Amazon continues to grow, so does the prevalence of scams and fraudulent activities targeting unsuspecting customers. It is essential for users to be aware of the various scams that exist on the platform to protect themselves from falling victim to these fraudulent schemes. From phishing emails to fake websites and gift card scams, understanding the different types of Amazon scams can help users navigate the platform safely and avoid potential financial loss or identity theft.

Types of Scams on Amazon

On Amazon, customers must be cautious of the various types of scams that can deceive and defraud them. One common scam is the gift card scam, where scammers trick users into purchasing gift cards as a form of payment. These scams often involve a sense of urgency or pressure, urging customers to provide the gift card details immediately.

Another type of scam is the brushing scam, where sellers send unsolicited packages to customers in order to create fake reviews and boost their ratings. These packages often contain inexpensive items that are sent to random addresses.

Impersonation scams are also prevalent on Amazon. Scammers create fake accounts or websites that mimic legitimate ones, luring customers to input their login credentials or other personal information. They may pose as customer service representatives or use grammatical errors and poor language to deceive.

Positive review scams involve bad actors posting fake positive reviews to manipulate customer perception. These reviews can mislead customers into thinking a product or seller is trustworthy.

Lastly, third-party seller scams occur when fraudulent sellers create fake listings or accounts to trick customers into making purchases. These scams may involve fake return addresses or email addresses, as well as requesting payment through unauthorized methods.

Customers must stay vigilant and double-check before providing personal and financial information. Being aware of these types of scams can help protect against unauthorized purchases and fraudulent activity on Amazon.

Common Amazon Scams

Amazon, being one of the largest online marketplaces, unfortunately, attracts its fair share of scammers. These scammers employ various tactics to deceive unsuspecting customers and steal their personal information or money. From impersonation scams to positive review manipulation, these fraudsters go to great lengths to appear legitimate.

In this article, we will explore some of the most common Amazon scams that you need to be aware of to protect yourself and your hard-earned money. By understanding these scams and learning how to spot them, you can navigate the Amazon marketplace with caution and ensure a safe and secure online shopping experience.

Gift Card Scam

The Gift Card Scam on Amazon is a deceptive tactic used by scammers to trick victims into purchasing gift cards and providing them with the card details. This scam often involves impersonating Amazon customer service representatives or creating a sense of urgency to manipulate victims into acting quickly.

Scammers may contact victims through phone calls or emails, claiming to be from Amazon customer service. They will present a convincing story, such as a problem with the victim’s account or a recent order that requires immediate action. To resolve the issue, victims are instructed to purchase Amazon gift cards and provide the card details to the scammer.

By creating a sense of urgency and impersonating trusted sources, scammers prey on unsuspecting victims who are eager to resolve perceived issues. Unfortunately, falling for this scam can have serious consequences. Victims not only lose money by purchasing the gift cards, but they also put themselves at risk of identity theft or unauthorized purchases on their Amazon accounts.

To avoid becoming a victim of the Gift Card Scam, it’s crucial to be wary of unsolicited communication, especially if it involves urgency or requests for gift card information. Remember that Amazon customer service will never ask for payment through gift cards. If you receive a suspicious call or email, contact Amazon directly through their official customer service channels to verify the legitimacy of the request. Stay vigilant and protect yourself from falling into the hands of scammers.

Brushing Scam

In the world of Amazon scams, one particularly deceptive tactic is known as the Brushing Scam. This scam involves sellers sending unsolicited packages to customers and then writing fake positive reviews for their own products.

The motive behind this scam is to boost the seller’s ratings and increase the visibility of their products. By sending these packages and writing positive reviews themselves, the sellers are able to create the illusion of satisfied customers and attract more buyers.

The brushers, as these fraudulent sellers are often referred to, benefit from higher seller ratings because they appear more trustworthy and reliable to potential customers. Additionally, with increased product visibility, they have a better chance of generating more sales and profits.

However, it is important for customers to be wary of these unsolicited packages and be skeptical of overly positive reviews. While it may seem like a pleasant surprise to receive a free item, it is crucial to be cautious and not fall victim to this scam.

By being aware of the brushing scam and staying vigilant, customers can protect themselves from becoming unwitting pawns in the seller’s scheme to boost their ratings and visibility at the expense of others.

Impersonation Scam

Impersonation scams on Amazon involve scammers posing as legitimate sellers or customer service representatives to deceive customers and gain unauthorized access to their accounts. These scammers employ various tactics to trick users and obtain their login credentials, putting their customer accounts at risk.

One common tactic is sending phishing emails or making unsolicited phone calls claiming to be from Amazon. These messages often create a sense of urgency by stating there is a problem with the customer’s account or a recent purchase. To resolve the issue, the scammer requests the customer to provide their login credentials, such as their username and password. Unsuspecting victims may unknowingly hand over their sensitive information, allowing the scammer to gain unauthorized access to their account.

The risks associated with falling victim to an impersonation scam on Amazon are significant. Once scammers access a customer’s account, they can make unauthorized purchases using the saved payment method, potentially resulting in financial loss. Moreover, personal information stored on the account, such as credit card details or addresses, can be compromised, leading to identity theft or further fraudulent activities.

To protect against impersonation scams, customers should always verify the legitimacy of emails or phone calls claiming to be from Amazon. They should never share their login credentials or personal information in response to unsolicited requests. Enabling two-factor authentication and regularly monitoring account activity can also help detect unauthorized access and prevent potential fraud.

Remaining vigilant and taking precautions will greatly reduce the risk of falling victim to an impersonation scam on Amazon, safeguarding both personal and financial information.

Positive Review Scam

The positive review scam is a deceptive tactic used by scammers on Amazon to mislead customers and boost the ratings of products or sellers. In this scam, scammers often pose as genuine buyers and post glowing reviews about a particular product or seller. These reviews aim to create a false sense of trust and credibility, luring unsuspecting customers into making a purchase.

To deceive customers, scammers employ various tactics. They may create multiple fake accounts to post numerous positive reviews, inflating the overall rating. Some scammers may even use automated software or bots to generate fake positive reviews in bulk, making it harder for customers to identify the fraudulent activity.

Customers need to be aware of the risks associated with falling for the positive review scam. Firstly, relying on false reviews can lead to purchasing low-quality or counterfeit products, wasting money and potentially compromising safety. Secondly, customers may miss out on genuinely good products or sellers due to the misleading information provided by scammers.

There are several signs customers can look out for to identify fake reviews. These include a disproportionate number of positive reviews compared to the overall rating or the presence of similar or repetitive language across multiple reviews. Additionally, reviews that lack specific details or appear overly generic can also indicate fraudulent activity.

To protect themselves, customers should be cautious when making purchasing decisions based solely on positive reviews. It is essential to consider a variety of factors such as seller ratings, product descriptions, and customer feedback. By being vigilant and informed, customers can avoid falling victim to the positive review scam on Amazon and make more informed purchasing decisions.

Third-Party Seller Scam

The Third-Party Seller Scam is a common tactic used by scammers to deceive customers on Amazon. Scammers disguise themselves as legitimate sellers, making it difficult for customers to recognize that they are dealing with fraudulent individuals.

In this scam, scammers create fake seller accounts and list products for sale on Amazon’s platform. They often promote attractive prices and too-good-to-be-true deals to entice unsuspecting customers. Once a customer places an order, the scammer gains access to their payment information and makes unauthorized purchases using their credit card details.

Purchasing from unknown sellers can pose significant risks. Customers may receive counterfeit or low-quality products, or worse, become victims of identity theft or financial fraud. It is crucial for customers to exercise caution and thoroughly check the seller’s ratings and reviews before making a purchase.

Looking at the seller rating is important as it provides an indication of the seller’s trustworthiness and reliability. Reading through previous customer reviews can also give insights into the experiences of other buyers, helping customers determine if the seller is legitimate or not.

To protect themselves from the Third-Party Seller Scam, customers should be vigilant, especially when dealing with unknown sellers. It is advisable to stick to purchases from sellers with high ratings and positive reviews from verified buyers. By doing so, customers can reduce the risk of falling victim to unauthorized purchases and ensure a safer online shopping experience.

Phishing Emails & Fake Websites

Phishing emails and fake websites are common tactics used by scammers to deceive unsuspecting Amazon customers. It is important to be able to identify and protect against these scams to safeguard your personal information and financial security.

One way to spot a phishing email is by carefully examining the email address and content. Be wary of emails that claim to be from Amazon but have suspicious email addresses or contain grammatical errors. Scammers often impersonate Amazon’s customer service, so it is important to verify the legitimacy of the email before taking any action.

To protect against phishing scams, avoid clicking on suspicious links in emails. Instead, independently visit Amazon’s official website by typing the address directly into your browser. Genuine Amazon emails will never ask you to provide personal information or login credentials via email, so if you receive such a request, it is likely a phishing attempt.

When it comes to identifying fake websites, always double-check the URL to ensure it matches Amazon’s official website. Fraudulent websites may have slight variations in spelling or use different domain extensions. If something feels off or the website looks unprofessional, it is best to exit and not proceed with any transactions.

Remember, Amazon will never ask you to share sensitive information like your social security number or credit card details through email or on a website. By staying vigilant, avoiding suspicious links, and verifying the authenticity of emails and websites, you can protect yourself from falling victim to phishing scams and fake websites on Amazon.

Preventing Amazon Scams

In today’s digital age, online scams have become increasingly prevalent, and even e-commerce giants like Amazon are not immune to these fraudulent activities. It is crucial for shoppers to be aware of and proactive in preventing Amazon scams.

By familiarizing themselves with common scam tactics and employing simple yet effective prevention measures, consumers can safeguard their personal and financial information while enjoying a secure online shopping experience. In this article, we will explore various types of Amazon scams, provide tips on how to identify and avoid them, and highlight the importance of staying vigilant when making purchases on this popular platform.

Use a Strong Login Credential

When it comes to using a strong login credential on Amazon, it’s crucial to prioritize your account’s security. One of the first steps is creating a unique and complex password. This means avoiding commonly used passwords and opting for a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.

By using a unique password, you reduce the risk of your account being compromised. Additionally, it’s advisable to avoid using the same password across multiple accounts to prevent a domino effect if one account is breached.

To add another layer of protection, enable two-factor authentication (2FA) on your Amazon account. This feature requires you to provide a second form of verification, such as a code sent to your mobile device, in addition to your password. By enabling 2FA, even if someone were to obtain your password, they would still need access to your secondary verification method to login.

Using a strong login credential and enabling two-factor authentication are essential practices for safeguarding your Amazon account. Taking these steps will help protect your personal information and ensure that only authorized individuals have access to your account.

Be Aware of Suspicious Emails & Return Addresses

When using Amazon, it’s important to be vigilant and aware of suspicious emails and return addresses as they can be indicative of scams or fraudulent activity. Here are some key steps to help you identify and avoid falling victim to these scams:

1. Check for grammatical errors: Often, scam emails contain numerous grammatical errors or awkward phrasing. Legitimate emails from Amazon are typically well-written and free of such errors.

2. Watch out for phishing attempts: Be cautious of any email that asks for your personal information, such as login credentials or social security numbers. Amazon will never ask for this information via email.

3. Verify the email address: Look closely at the sender’s email address. Scammers often use email addresses that mimic Amazon’s, but with slight variations. For example, instead of “,” a scammer’s email might be “”

4. Examine the return address: Take a close look at the return address in the email. Legitimate emails from Amazon will typically have a return address ending in “” If the return address looks suspicious or unfamiliar, it is likely a scam.

If you receive an email that raises any suspicions, do not click on any links or provide any personal information. Instead, go directly to your Amazon account by typing the website address into your browser and verify any necessary information there.

Being cautious and knowing how to identify suspicious emails and return addresses will go a long way in protecting yourself from scams and fraudulent activity on Amazon.

Double-Check Business Impersonators & Low Seller Rating

Identifying and Double-Checking Business Impersonators and Low Seller Ratings on Amazon

When shopping on Amazon, it’s important to be vigilant to avoid falling victim to scams. Two common warning signs of potential scams are business impersonators and low seller ratings. Here’s how you can double-check the authenticity of a seller and spot these red flags.

Firstly, be on the lookout for business impersonators. Scammers may try to mimic reputable businesses by using similar names, logos, or website designs. Pay close attention to any slight variations in the email or website address, as these can often be telltale signs of a scam.

Secondly, check the seller’s rating. A low seller rating could indicate poor customer experiences, questionable practices, or even potential scams. Before making a purchase, take the time to read customer reviews and ratings. This can give you insights into the seller’s reliability, product quality, and customer service.

Additionally, verify the seller’s contact information. Scammers may provide fake or invalid contact details. Cross-reference the information provided with the seller’s official website or other reputable sources. If there are any inconsistencies or the information seems suspicious, proceed with caution.

By following these steps, you can better protect yourself from scams on Amazon. Remember, it’s vital to be proactive and skeptical when dealing with unfamiliar sellers and always prioritize your online safety. Happy and secure shopping!

Don’t Provide Your Credit Card Details to Unknown Sellers or Websites

When shopping on Amazon, one should never provide their credit card details to unknown sellers or websites. This is of utmost importance as it helps to protect against unauthorized purchases and potential identity theft.

Unknown sellers or websites may seem tempting with their offers and too-good-to-be-true deals, but they can be a breeding ground for scams. Scammers can create fake websites that are designed to look like legitimate sellers, making it difficult for customers to differentiate between the two. By impersonating reputable businesses, scammers aim to deceive unsuspecting customers and gain access to their credit card details.

Providing credit card details to these unknown sellers or websites can have disastrous consequences. It puts customers at risk of unauthorized purchases, where scammers may make purchases using their credit card information without their knowledge or consent. This not only causes financial loss but can also lead to potential identity theft, where scammers can use the stolen information to commit fraudulent activities in the victim’s name.

To avoid falling victim to such scams, it is essential to exercise caution and carefully scrutinize the credibility of sellers and websites on Amazon. Stick to reputable sellers with positive reviews and seller ratings. Be vigilant for any signs of suspicious activity or requests for credit card details. Always prioritize your online security and protect your personal information from falling into the wrong hands.

Reporting Amazon Frauds and Suspicious Activity

If you suspect fraud or encounter suspicious activity on Amazon, it is crucial to report it immediately to protect yourself and other customers. Here are the steps to follow when reporting scams or fraudulent activity:

1. Gather evidence: Take screenshots, photos, or make copies of any suspicious emails, fake websites, or fraudulent product listings related to the scam. Keep records of any unauthorized charges or suspicious activity on your account.

2. Contact Amazon Customer Service: Visit the Amazon website and navigate to the “Help” section. Click on the “Contact Us” option and choose the appropriate category, such as “Account and Login” or “Orders.”

3. Provide order details and evidence: When contacting Amazon customer service, ensure you have your order number or any relevant information about the fraudulent activity. Clearly explain the situation and attach any evidence you have collected.

4. Follow Amazon’s instructions: Amazon customer service will guide you through the necessary steps to resolve the issue. They may ask for additional information or provide instructions on how to secure your account.

5. Monitor your account: Keep a close eye on your credit card statements, order history, and personal information. Report any further suspicious activity to Amazon immediately.

Remember, reporting scams and suspicious activity promptly helps Amazon take swift action to protect their customers and prevent future incidents. Stay vigilant and report any signs of fraud to ensure a safer shopping experience for everyone.