Dealing with fraud

So here’s a fun one. Let’s say you’re a fairly large seller of wholesale goods. You have your own Amazon store for a couple of your brands, and you’re growing month over month.

Even your own .com website is starting to move merchandise, which is unusual in an age where people think “buying on Amazon” is just the term for eCommerce.

But you notice a sudden, massive increase in sales for one of your more expensive items. Just a huge number of them. Dozens per day, when there used to be one or two a week. Some of your distributors are also asking for big inventory numbers of this item suddenly, citing a huge increase in volume.

Hello, gift horse - what’s up with your mouth?

Turns out, this horse is about to die. These orders appear to be using stolen credit cards and go to crazy, busted, or incorrect addresses.

At the same time, a new seller arrives on your listing, with a terrible feedback score for not getting things to people on time.

I’m not saying that this rogue seller is definitely my thief, but I don’t believe in coincidence.

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Dealing with Fraud is just the way it is across all of ecom and especially Amazon.

I’ve shared only a tiny fraction of what we deal with in terms of fraud.

I know some here think I share everything - not even close. Just the good stuff, well not so good stuff.

You have 2 choices the way I see it:

  1. Give up
  2. Do everything you can to fight it and be persistent as possible with a drive to never lose.

It’s not easy, trust me.

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Stolen credit card fraud is one of the protections you receive on Amazon which usually works.

If you ship, on time, to the address on the Amazon order, it usually works.

If you are selling on your own website, you need to use the credit card issuers AVS (address verification service) and not ship to other than the verified address, even if you lose gift business or orders shipped to someone at work. Many honest customers who receive shipments at work, have their work address added to those which AVS accepts.

Most businesses have to deal with some level of fraud. Much of it can be avoided, for a price. Some products and businesses have a much higher risk of fraud, and had better have enough margin to absorb it.

With many years of contacts, I was able to source for many categories when I added Amazon to deal with cash flow issues during the last recession.

I am not fraud tolerant, and within a few months stopped offering many types of items which faced hassle and fraud from Amazon buyers. Health and Beauty were the first to go, It was too bad, I had huge margins thanks to my sources. Electronics were next.

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This has been a consistent lesson you’ve preached at least since 2018, and I have appreciated it! If a product/category takes too much time to manage with Amazon’s Buyers, then don’t be afraid to drop it and focus on more efficient profit lines. Thank you!

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I keep preaching it because this is one of the truths of retailing, and yet so many people have trouble accepting it. And it has been a lot longer than since 2018.

In the early days of retailer sales of PCs, Commodore suffered great damage when one of the computers it introduced had a high rate of returns. The mass market retailers dropped the product and avoided the company. The history of the non-IBM compatible side of the PC industry might have been very different.

This is America where we have had choices in what we have and what we do since our own revolution.

We make these choices, and need to accept the consequences of the choices.

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In the wee hours of the night, I discovered in my inbox the following from [email protected]

Amazon

Hello :no_entry_sign:,

Our customers helped us take the fight to scammers last year by reporting suspicious emails, texts, and phone calls. Each report matters. In 2022, we made significant strides to protect our customers:

We initiated takedowns of more than 20,000 phishing websites and 10,000 phone numbers that were used as part of impersonation scams.


We referred 100s of bad actors across the globe to law enforcement to help them ensure these scammers are held accountable.

Protect yourself from scammers

Be careful installing apps or software

Be careful installing apps or software

Amazon will not ask you to install an app or download software in order to receive a refund or to get help from customer service.


Never pay over the phone

Never pay over the phone

Amazon will not ask you to provide payment information, including gift cards (or “verification cards," as some scammers call them), for products or services over the phone.


Always verify orders directly with Amazon

Always verify orders directly with Amazon

Amazon will not include purchased product information in order confirmation and shipping confirmation emails we send to customers. For any questions related to an order, always check Your Orders on Amazon.com or via the “Amazon Shopping” app.


Be wary of false urgency

Be wary of false urgency

Amazon will not pressure you to act now. Scammers may try to create a sense of urgency to persuade you to do what they’re asking.

If you receive communication — a call, text, or email — that you think may not be from Amazon, please report it to us at amazon.com/reportascam


Visit the Message Center on our website to review emails from Amazon. For more information on how to stay safe online, visit Security & Privacy on the Amazon Customer Service page.

Which seemed appropriate to share here…

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It does, but as a regular “joe” wonder why I did not get it.

I have complained with great force, about scammers, interlopers and threats from sellers as a buyer. Has never resulting in a single response, of any use.

Possibly, the TBA company now coming to deliver at our building instead of the mail room. But that is for another story, and area in the SAS.