90 Miles From Tyranny : Bamboozled: The new scam Amazon won't warn you about

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Saturday, December 10, 2016

Bamboozled: The new scam Amazon won't warn you about

If you plan to shop on Amazon.com this holiday season, be warned.

There's a new scam afoot, and the con artists are using Amazon to steal your money. Based on the number of complaints reported to Bamboozled from across the country in the past few months, the problem is widespread, if not rampant.

Amazon isn't doing anything about it, according to shoppers who fell victim to the scam.

Given that we're at the start of the busy holiday shopping season, one might think Amazon wants to warn its customers.

The retail giant is staying silent.

We've reported before about fake third-party sellers who lure buyers to leave Amazon's site when it comes time for payment. Through untraceable wire transfers, the fraudsters take money for items they never deliver.

This time, the scammers are using Amazon gift cards to pull off the fraud.

And it seems to be working beautifully.

The dozens of complaints reported to Bamboozled share essentially the same story. And, the readers agree, Amazon hasn't done a thing to help.

We reached out to Amazon about these cases and to ask what it's doing to protect consumers as the holiday shopping season gets underway. It hasn't responded to our inquiries.

Here's a look at what's happened to some shoppers who put their trust in Amazon.

Nick Gladis of Frenchtown wanted to buy himself a birthday present.

He decided to buy himself a drone.

"It was the biggest purchase I'd made for myself in years," he said.

Looking on Amazon on Nov. 1, Gladis found the product he wanted for $500. The seller's ad told him to text the seller before placing the order.
A screenshot of some of the many messages between shopper Nick Gladis and a scammer posing as Amazon.Nick Gladis 

What followed was a series of texts and emails -- emails that looked exactly like authentic Amazon emails -- in which Gladis was instructed to purchase an Amazon gift card to make his payment. He gave the gift card numbers to the seller, and the seller took the money.

But no product arrived.

When he realized something was wrong, Gladis contacted Amazon.

Amazon said the gift card had already been used and nothing could be done to recover the money, Gladis said he was told.

"Amazon simply does not care and has very little to say about it, and wants it brushed under the carpet so that they don't have a sketchy name," Gladis said. "Amazon received the money I was scammed for ...
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Dick said...

It seems to me that stupid buyers are at fault and want to blame Amazon for their mistakes. Amazon should remove all sellers that are scams - that's Amazons duty. However, buyers should be using their credit card for purchases and nothing else. If the seller does not accept credit cards, then run away and report them. This is online shopping basic stuff.

Merlin said...

From what I've read of this scam, the sellers are instructing the buyers to contact them outside of the Amazon system them submit payment by sending the gift card info through email rather than through Amazon's payment system. If you as the seller agree to bypass the system that Amazon has created, then it seems like it would be hard to hold Amazon at fault for your getting scammed.