Watch Out For Bogus Amazon Marketplace Receipts

Small businesses that sell products via Amazon’s Marketplace are being targeted by a simple-yet-apparently-effective scam: Tricksters create fake Marketplace receipts and email them to the merchants with a complaint about unshipped goods. Gullible shopkeepers then send out refund checks to bogus “customers.”

The security gurus at GFI Labs examine the scam, and point out that most shopkeeps should be smart enough not to fall for it:

What happens once our scammer is armed with his fake receipt? Well, many sellers on Amazon will ask you to send them a copy of your receipt should you run into trouble, have orders go missing, lose your license key for a piece of software and so on. The gag here is that the scammer is relying on the seller not checking the details and accepting the printout at face value. After all, how many sellers would be aware somebody went to the trouble of creating a fake receipt generator in the first place?

Some things to note for the wary seller: not only will you not have a record of these people buying your products, you should be able to confirm with Amazon that no purchase was ever made. Check the orange order number at the top, because those are randomly selected from a set of looping numbers every time the scammer clicks on the “Order Number” button – again, something either the seller or Amazon should be able to check. Finally, the program seems to add some random digits on the “Visa: payment method” section in payment information.

The scammers apparently hope that frazzled merchants, under the gun during the holidays, will carelessly send out refunds without following the usual procedures. Sunbelt warns that Marketplace vendors should always be on the lookout: “If a “customer” seems a little peculiar, ensure you take a good look at their receipt.”

Taking a look at fake Amazon receipt generators [Sunbelt Blog]