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Phishing attacks channelled through Amazon marketplace

11 January 2017 - 13:20 by David Aiken

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Customers attempting to shop online via Amazon’s marketplace service have been warned to avoid buying items from a seller known as Sc-Elegance, according to the Register.

This particular merchant has been singled out for using the legitimate site to trick people into visiting a third party phishing site, set up to look like a real page for processing payments.

They operate by setting up listings for high value second hand products, such as consumer electronics, which are deliberately priced significantly below the levels that would be anticipated in standard stores. This ‘too good to be true’ tactic helps to lure in bargain hunters, who are then more likely to fall for the scam that follows.

Going through with the payment on the third party site of course means that the cash ends up in the pockets of the criminal or criminals behind this scheme, while innocent victims will never receive the items they thought they were ordering.

Once this scam was revealed, Amazon was quick to act and eliminated the Sc-Elegance account and all of its listings to prevent others from falling into this trap. But of course it is perfectly possible for other accounts to be established with similarly problematic tactics behind them.

The simple advice is to never buy an item from an Amazon Marketplace seller if they require that you make payment via a third party site, since the only way to carry out safe shopping online is to go through official channels.

Consumers are also reminded that if a deal looks too good to be true, then it is likely that it is indeed a part of some wider scam, which could either lead to personal details being stolen or to the direct theft of customer cash.