It’s not always easy to avoid scams, especially online. Undoubtedly, there are some clever con artists out there whom you’d never expect are trying to trick you for a quick buck.
Unfortunately, even the online retail juggernaut Amazon has not been able to completely avoid scams. In fact, these days, more and more people are reporting that they’ve purchased items from third party sellers on Amazon that never arrive.
You’re definitely going to want to hear how this happens to unsuspecting customers. That way, you’ll be able to avoid these scams yourself!
It’s not uncommon for Amazon shoppers to find “deals” on the online shopping giant for as low as 50 percent off the standard retail price. It almost seems too good to be true, right? Well, you know what they say about that…
Asqueladd / Wikimedia Commons
More and more often, scammers have been using Amazon to lure in customers with absurdly low prices. After they’ve got their attention, these criminals deliver counterfeit versions of the product shoppers thought they were purchasing. In some cases, they don’t even deliver anything at all.
This has been of great concern to both Amazon shoppers and legitimate sellers whose own businesses are being affected. Some complain that Amazon isn’t doing enough to stop these con artists. To combat this sort of thing, Amazon is supposed to absorb the cost of these frauds with their “A to Z Guarantee,” which provides refunds to customers who purchase misrepresented products. Unfortunately, though, this has become more and more difficult…
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Take, for instance, the case of 38-year-old Angela Stone of Golden, Colorado. In March 2017, she thought she was buying a video game for two dollars off the retail price from a seller named “amichellej2.”
In the next two weeks, not only had the game never arrived, but the seller received several dozen negative reviews. Going forward, Stone says she’ll completely avoid buying anything from “new sellers.”
Amazon claims they’re committed to helping their customers buy and sell items confidently, which is why they require tax identity information from their sellers. Previously, they’ve also addressed other loopholes that left people vulnerable against hackers. Still, issues persist…
Nonetheless, Amazon provides no protection for customers making transactions outside of their website. That’s what 26-year-old, Houston-based beauty and makeup blogger Alexandra Garcia discovered when she tried buying a $750 camera for just $369 in December 2016.
The seller asked customers to email them before making their purchase. Despite her suspicions, Alexandra did as she was instructed and emailed the seller. At that point, she was asked to buy the camera with an Amazon gift card.
Days later, she was told that she couldn’t get the camera shipped to her unless she sent the seller the code for another gift card to cover the cost of insurance on the shipment. When Alexandra called Amazon customer service, though, she was told that her transaction number didn’t exist. Not only that, but she had been scammed… and Amazon would not cover it, since the transaction occurred outside of the website.
Mike Mozart / Flickr
After making a number of phone calls up the corporate ladder, Alexandra finally received her refund. However, she claims that she’ll never buy anything from Amazon ever again. Ultimately, she visited a physical Best Buy store to buy the same camera. You can watch her warning below…
Obviously, cunning hackers know how to manipulate Amazon’s systems for their own purposes. There’s not necessarily any need to avoid shopping at Amazon completely… just beware of suspicious sellers!
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