Lee Munson, a researcher for security and privacy advice and comparison website, Comparitech.com, is warning Amazon UK customers to be particularly vigilant about the post-holiday deals they find on Amazon as it has caught out one seller in particular attempting to scam users out of money.
The merchant, called Sc-Elegance, primarily sells high end electronics, advertising them ‘used- like new’ at significantly lower costs than they retail for. However, when the shopper adds the item to their basket and checks out, it redirects the buyer away from Amazon to make the payment in a very convincing phishing scam.
“This particular seller has been reported a number of times to Amazon in its forums. While Amazon has taken some action to remove listings, the merchant keeps popping up again and again under different guises,” said Lee Munson, security researcher for Comparitech.com. “Customers need to be aware that if they pay for goods outside of Amazon, they will not get the item and their money will be gone – and there will be no support from Amazon in getting compensation.
“While there have been other Amazon-related email scams in the past, these fraudsters have been so bold as to successfully and persistently create real merchant accounts. One can only surmise that this persistence means that it has been lucrative for the criminals, so customers must remain cautious as to not fall victim to the scam.“
Amazon has been contacted by Comparitech.com about the rogue seller and it has since removed the Sc-Elegance listings, though this has happened in the past and it returns under a modified name.
Munson expects scams like these will continue to proliferate as long as people are duped by them and therefore offers the following three golden rules to shoppers turning to Amazon to bag the best bargains:
If it looks too good to be true, it most likely is
Never engage with a seller who attempts to correspond through email or other means
Never buy a product that requires payment outside of the official Amazon website or app
More details are available on Comparitech’s in-depth blog post entitled: ‘Buyer beware: Amazon scammers posing as real merchants to swindle customers’.