Amazon Marketplace and Ebay Fraud

Fraud at AmazonCanon 5D + 24 - 105mm L LensI love buying equipment at Amazon. Its convenient and I trust them. They have excellent buyer protection and are very responsive to claims.
I also buy at their Marketplace where people and small businesses sell their stuff. Amazon's protection covers this too, but that doesn't mean you should be completely careless, as they only cover you up to 5 times for life.
Unfortunately scammers have found out ways to use Amazon Marketplace steal your hard earned dollars.
Especially high priced electronic items (and that's what I usually buy there) are being used for this kind of fraud.
Obviously people lose all reasoning skills when something is being sold at incredibly low prices, although above all that should be the first indicator that something is wrong.
When I was looking at some items, I ran across the Canon 5D + 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens package offered at just $1400 (the next cheapest package price was around $3400).
The lens alone is easily worth almost $1100 at Amazon.
I was pretty sure this was just another scam, but I decided to send the seller an email and poke around a little to see what he would tell me.
I sent him an email asking about some more details. 

Me: I noticed that you are selling this camera with lens far below the normal price range.
Is there anything wrong with the camera, is this a mistake ?
He promptly replied within the hour:
Fraudster: Thank you for your express interest in my Canon EOS 5D Camera.
First of all i want to tell you that my products are brand new in box,with 12 mounths manufacturer warranty from Canon, with all the cables, accessories etc.
The price for immediate purchase of 1 Camera is only 1400 USD and the shipping, handling and inssurance are included.i sell so cheapp because i have a stock liquidation.
tell me if you are intrested to buy it so we can make the next step.
So lets see. He could easily sell this package for $1000 more within one hour. He made up some reason (clearance) to make the deal sound legitimate.  A bunch of spelling mistakes don't look very professional either. Lets poke a little more:
Me: Is that the US Version and US Warranty?

Fraudster: yes is US warranty 12 mounths..
i make the transaction under Amazon Service and if you  want to buy send me your full name and shipp adress to forward them to Amazon and start the transaction. Then you will be contacted by them with the rest of the order(payment and shipping detailles).  
Huh? Now here is something quite funny. Since when can a seller of a product request Amazon to bill me for something? 
Me: Why not go through Amazon right away?

Fraudster: yes we make the transaction throught Amazon..sure..
so i will need your full name and shipp adress to start the order.. 

I was hoping to get him to send me a fake Amazon email, so I made up some fake address that sounded legit.
I think I might have gone a little overboard by making minor changes to my name (after all my email reveals my real name, which I made sound like a nickname).
He sent me a confirmation and promised to send the request from Amazon, which I never got.
The bottom line: He probably got suspicious of the fake mailing address or he actually punched it into yahoo maps. I didn't want to use a real one, so I wouldn't get another unsuspecting person involved.

I also searched for this username on Ebay. It turned up with a username who had tons of good reviews and all of a sudden a whole lot of bad reviews of people who hadn't received their expensive stuff.
The 100% positive reviews on Amazon were all created from small items like books (sometimes reviewers include what they received in the review), not a single high priced electronic item.

So what would have happened if I had simply bought it right on Amazon?

Now just $1000Now just $1000 Most likely he would have cancelled the order and send me an email, faking Amazon as the sender, replicating their email style. He would probably have asked for a Western Union Money transfer.

I wish Amazon would be a little bit more proactive in preventing this kind of fraud. These guys are really easy to spot for their unbelievable deals. I also would like for Amazon to inform their customers of common fraud tactics.

Shortly after, I saw an even "better" deal (see picture to the left).
I do believe that it was the same person (both claimed to Ship from GA) and that he found a way to hijack someone's seller account, using their good reputation for his/her shady tactics.

I still will continue buying electronics on Ebay and Amazon. Following a few simple rules, I have never lost any money. Follow these rules and use common sense when you buy electronics:

  • Always check the feedback of a person, but don't just check the percentage. Rather go in and read the actual feedback. On Ebay you can review recent items that this seller sold. Were those items of a similar price or did he sell a ton of very cheap items? Some people sell lots of cheap items to build up a lot of positive feedback before all of a sudden switching to higher priced items. Don't buy from those people.
  • Can you find a profile on Amazon and Ebay of the same seller? By comparing the two, you might find that one already got burned out and he now moved to the next.
  • When you buy on Amazon, make sure the payment is handled through Amazon. If the seller demands ANYTHING else, deny the request and inform Amazon. Amazon allows payment only to be made through Amazon.
  • Always stay away from Western Union
  • On Ebay, make sure the seller is qualified for extended protection (higher amount). It simply means the seller needs a certain amount of positive feedback.
  • If a deal looks too good to be true, believe me in 99% of all cases it is. Why should someone sell this camera and lens for less then 1/3 of its retail value?
  • Make sure you are buying the US model with US warranty.
A little paranoia goes a long way when buying on Ebay and Amazon Marketplace. But I still buy a lot of my stuff there, and I have saved a boatload of money this way. Just be careful and aware that the Scammers and Fraudsters are on Amazon too.

And please protect your password if you have an account on Ebay or a seller account on Amazon. Make sure nobody can guess your password and that it is hard to crack. I believe seller's being careless causes many of these problems. 

Fraud is everywhere. The

Fraud is everywhere. The American ethic has become,"if you don't get caught it isn't wrong". Even when caught, there is often no consequence if your actions support a political cause or you are a major corporation. Not only do fraudsters engage in fraud on Amazon marketplace, but Amazon themselves have a number of fraudulent behaviours. Put some thing on your wishlist or in your shopping cart. If you leave it for 2-4 days the price will go up. However if you shop without logging in you will find it for the original price or less. If you order a dozen items, all of which are shown as "in stock" and do not select "all items in one shipment", Amazon will break them up into 4-8 shipments and charge all sorts of additional shipping. Amazon will argue that they are "merely ,making prudent use of residual consumer demand information available as a result of the digitized demand chain". I call it greedy f****g fraud. F*** the bastards. Let their blood run in the streets.

Wow

You sound very disgruntled. I cannot confirm such behavior from Amazon. Also this doesn't seem to be an American problem as your comment suggests. The spammers that tried to reel me in were from Nigeria. In fact Amazon were always helpful and always have responded to my inquiries quickly. They once exchanged a Compact flash car after the initial "remorse period" of 14 or 30 days and simply sent me a replacement after I had a data corruption. No hassle.
I cannot confirm the price change thing either, but I suggest that you refresh the browser cache which may still show you a previous price.
I don't believe Amazon does so lightly risk their reputation. For a company such as this, return customers are more important than maximizing one or two percent profit.
I changed two words in your comment, I am sure you can see which. Please refrain from obscene language and threads in the future. Lets have a civilized discussion.

Woinna the Wolf

Woinna, I like the way you censor words ;)

Amazon fraud?

I am a 100% gold tar seller & buyer on amazon & I notice more & more frequently that some items are WAY over priced. When the suggested retail price is $14.98, the seller is selling it for $999.99. I am thinking "WHO in their right mind would pay this for a cassette that can be bought in CD form (not out of print) for about $15 to $18? UNLESS there is some fraud going on some type of SCAM that a fraudulent seller highjacks another buyers account & purchases or sells it & soemhow transfers it to their account. I really haven't figure out exactly how it is done. BUT I am seeing so many out there now that there must be something to be aware of. I did question a seller once who said her husband must have drank too much coffee that day. Does anyone out there know?

Amazon Fraud?

P.S. I don't sell TAR, I am a 100% gold STAR seller/buyer : )

Hello Jasmine, the only

Hello Jasmine,

the only way to know for sure is by sending them an email, posing as an interested buyer. Maybe it's some sort of money laundering scheme.

Amazon fraud?

Hi All,

I just want to ask, I am a seller, I received a confirmed order from Amazon, is it save to ship? Because the buyer contact me before he place the order asking for pic., he need it rush and ask me when can he rec'd it,after all the questions, He placed the order and he message me the order confirmation from Amazon, he also choose expedited it, then of course, I went to my amazon acct. to check ,it said the order is pending, I tell him I didn't rec't the order rom Amazon yet, and I tell him call Amazon to see anything wrong with the order since he keep asking when can he rec'd the order. The next day , I got the order from Amazon ok to ship the order. So if I ship the order, if it a fraud, does Amazon cover it? My item about $300.

This is true, fraud is fraud

This is true, fraud is fraud and it has nothing to do with buyers or sellers. There is fraud on both sides, mostly from buyers in using and returning things.

But I can only laugh at the OP. How stupid to not realize this was a nigerian scammer. You need to look at things people are selling and when someone is selling a specialty item yet the sellers sounds like the village idiot then you know its a scam. If I want to buy a $1000 item and the person doesn't know a single thing about then he most likely doesn't even have one.

Unfortunately the biggest scam is the amazon team itself. The continuously defraud their sellers when they have no answer to their mess.

No !! You need to

No !!

You need to understand one thing. Nothing is covered, the cover and protection is a fraud. If someone has a ton of money in their account and they can freeze it then you are covered. This is the law that dictates how your coverage will be handled, it has nothing to do with safety or fraud or risk, if they can get the seller or buyer to be responsible they will, if they can't amazon will never take responsibility and you will always lose no matter how blatant or obvious the fraud was from seller or buyer.

THANKS

This article was very helpful. I recently began shopping on Amazon for a few things here and there that I can't get in the small town that I live in. I almost always order from Amazon (not a third party marketer) but in some situations I've had to order things from the Marketplace and have been very selective but still worry that I'm going to be scammed. So far, I haven't been but this was VERY helpful in giving me some hints to look for in the future! Best of luck to all of you and in your future purchases on Amazon/EBay.

Really? That just started

Really? That just started recently and only here? Seems you're not a very good student of history or just wear blinders on.

Secondly, it sounds like you're just confused about based rules of internet commerce. Full disclosure: I'm a technologist in major consumer product brand that has a web commerce division.

1. The Amazon statement is that they are providing demand information. They don't update price per user, as much as you think they do. You're probably comparing saved marketplace prices with Amazon prices and seeing fluctuations, who knows. In my own observations, I've seen the prices falling probably as often as I see then rising. A few toys that I didn't get for my kids during Xmas are now heavily discounted since December. True!

2. You expect to be able to break up your order into different shipments and not expect to pay more shipping fees? Is Amazon going to eat that cost -- they aren't doing the shipping are they?? I sell on ebay personally, and am annoyed (but I also understand the underlying economic conditions affecting logistics) at the prices that buyers have to pay for shipping. USPS priority medium size box is >$10 now, UPS ground is comparable. Imagine if you broke a order into 4 pieces with Amazon, I'd bet that you're likely to receive a discount from retail... Also, it's your choice! Most retailers don't even offer that choice.

I don't like being an defender for Amazon, as I'm sure they don't need my help, but this needed a reply... Seems some people will just whine about anything. You must be a hoot to hang out with.

Would you be all in favour

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It is by buying equipment

It is by buying equipment at Amazon. Its convenient and I trust them. They have excellent buyer protection and are very responsive to claims to declare. tax evasion investigation

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Another Fraudster

My incident was very similar to that posted. My was the purchase of a Canon 6D for $1,029.00. Best I could find was $1,550. The seller claimed it was 'like new' and several hundred positive reviews, BUT said to e-mail 1st before placing order. As soon as I sent an e-mail the item disappeared from the list of offerings. The seller contacted me right away with the following e-mail:

Ok. I sent the details to Amazon for process an order for you.
Any news from Amazon? have you got the order confirmation?
I wait your email for finish the transaction.

Many Thanks

There was a very good 'amazon' looking confirmation e-mail sent to me which directed me to send the payment to England via Western Union. I said, no go, I only pay through PayPal. Then I received the following e-mail:
This transaction is trough Amazon. You have already an order for this item that you must pay to finish the transaction, you have all information and instructions about payment in your order from Amazon Payments.

Payment have to be sent using Western Union to Amazon Payments, can't use the credit card or paypal payment. that is why Amazon request a Western Union payment.
Western Union Payments System is safe and sample and easy, you only need a valid ID and the payment address (you have the payment address in your order from Amazon) and pay with cash at your local Western Union agency.

For any questions about this transaction reply the order to talk with Amazon Payments Support.

Many Thanks

I continued to check my Amazon open orders, and this transaction didn't appear. I told the individual that I was reporting the transaction as fraudulent. Then received the following e-mail:
For any questions about this transaction reply the order to talk with Amazon Payments Support.

Many Thanks

So, while the fraudster was polite, double check at you're account by you logging into Amazon from scratch (don't use the hotlinks provided in an e-mail) to see if the transaction is actually recorded.

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Amazon is a den of thieves

As a seller on Amazon it works both ways. I am seeing alot of fraud being committed because Amazon has such a "customer service" policy allowing buyers to say they never received an item (even when tracking says delivered) and the Amazon recommends you refund them their money back to avoide their A to Z claim. Why should I refund anything back. I noted when I advised these "customers" that I will have the postal inspector send them a claim form to investigate where their package went I get no response. And yes this all through Amazon email service. So Amazon has to be aware of this issue because the sellers forum is full of complaints by sellers for these types of issues which would mean that Amazon is now assisting SCAMMERS to commit interstate commerce fraud. Cannot be a crook without the opportunity for gain and Amazon is the MARKETPLACE for crooks. Ebay is much better forum for and has issues but nothing like on Amazon. I have been a powersell on Ebay and in over 10 years never saw the kind of scamming I experienced in 2 1/2 months on Amazon. And if Amazon is reading this maybe you should have had call center employees who read when I requested a supervisor regarding the amount of sales that are being scammed on your website! But all I got was one of your made in India generated emails.

@Wow THIS IS AN AMERICAN PROBLEM

Unfortunately for you and your comment that this is nigerian scammers is incorrect. There are literally thousands of AMERICANS here in AMERICA ripping people of on AMAZON and AMAZON does nothing except their famous speech that they want all sellers to Stepford Wives "To satisfy the customer just refund the item and in most instances allow the "customer" to keep the item to boot!

I say this is an American problem because the people that have scammed me before I caught on to what was happening on Amazon were in California, Florida, etc...

And they are so obvious now in their theivery that is almost funny if it was not such a serious offense. An offense that Amazon does nothing about, making them just as liable as the crooks!

And I have documentation to back up my allegations. So yes Nigeria is known for their scammers, however Amazon has their own reputation which is spreading, GET FREE STUFF ON AMAZON!

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Any Consequence?

Was there any consequence in the future for having sent the seller an email instead of a message through Amazon? Something like phishing and such?

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amazon is a scam

i sold on amazon for a year. before christmas i sold hundreds of items and no issues. after christmas i had a lot of customers that decided they wanted free items. I have had customers with proof that item was delivered saying that there items just vanished from there mailbox to people claiming a item is fake so that they can keep the item and get there refund. amazon allowed this then not only did they let me get scammed out of hundreds of dollars they decided to suspend my account for low metrics caused by these scams and they held thousands of my dollars. i have 5 kids and amazon took away a way i was using to help take care of my kids. i am a singe father and now all of my money has been stolen by either amazon or there scammers. this really isnt a good place to do business. also when i contact amazon i get a letter back saying hey we get to keep your money and that person can not even sign there name. this company is heartless. here i am struggling to survive with 5 kids and amazon holds my money to gain interest. oh yes and there return policy is 30 days why do they need to hold my money besides making interest. they do not care about you prime members or any seller. amazon is about amazon and that company is a joke and should be shut down because of its helping hands to scammers that scam us honest people. well amazons scam is much bigger let these people get scammed so we can hold there money to make interest. well i have canceled my prime membership and i hope many people do as well. as long as amazon keeps letting honest people be scammed that will only be a marketplace of thieves.

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