100 Amazon Seller Accounts Hacked
Hackers Tricked Sellers Into Giving Sensitive Details
Besides struggling to avoid Amazon suspension, third-party sellers also have to deal with cybercriminals who try to rip off their earnings. Approximately 100 Amazon seller accounts were hacked by cyber thieves last year. These cyber hackers siphoned money from Amazon loans and customer sales into several of their accounts.
The accounts were hacked between May and October 2018. Bloomberg has released redacted court records filed by U.K attorneys employed by Amazon. However, it should be noted that the documents released by Bloomberg do not include other fraudulent activities involved with Amazon.
The e-commerce giant based in Seattle described the modus operandi of the hackers. Amazon said the hackers used the details on the Seller Control platform to match accounts which they had opened with Barclays and Prepay Technologies. Although, the filings do not detail how exactly the additional bank details were added to the merchant accounts.
Amazon lawyers have asked a London judge to help with the investigation by approving searches of Barclays and Prepay account statements. According to the court filing submitted by Amazon, this investigation will help to identify and go after the culprits, recover stolen funds, settle the fraud case, and forestall such occurrence in the future.
A few experts have aired their skepticism about private investigators working with Amazon legal services looking through individuals’ bank records, claiming that such sort of investigation should be left to the authorities. Amazon seems not to rely on law enforcement alone to prioritize the investigation; hence, the involvement of Amazon lawyers.
Barclays and Prepay have become entangled in a mess of which they know nothing. However, investigations have continued, regardless. The court filing stated that the fraudulent activity first began on May 16, 2018, although it remains unclear how much exactly was stolen.
Barclays refused to comment specifically on the hacked accounts but gave a statement saying that it had always been the bank’s policy to shut down fraudulent or suspicious accounts to protect customers.
Prepay Technologies Ltd. had not made any comments about the incident as of when they were contacted by Bloomberg. Amazon has also refused to make comments on the ongoing court case but made it known that a thorough investigation had been carried out and concluded.
The accounts were not exactly hacked but were accessed when the cybercriminals deceptively made Amazon sellers surrender sensitive details about their accounts. The criminals attacked using phishing emails that looked just like Amazon’s, thereby fooling them to log into a fake Amazon website where they entered their username and passwords.
The sophistication of phishing emails today has made it quite easy for hackers to deceive people. By rendering closely related information from previously hacked websites and companies over the years, hackers can make unsuspecting victims readily part with sensitive details.
Sellers have been repeatedly admonished not to log in anywhere else except on Amazon’s website and only on a web browser that they have opened themselves. The company warned sellers to be security conscious online, and be wary of clicking links and opening documents from random emails.
Sellers are not the only ones who fall prey to hackers. Several buyers on eBay have had their accounts taken over, used to sell items, and then had the payments funneled into PayPal accounts that they had associated with the buyers’ accounts.
The accounts set up by the online criminals at Barclays Plc and Prepay Technologies Ltd. were used to receive the stolen money in the form of loans that Amazon made available to sellers for up to a year. Amazon released a report which stated that it provided loans of over a billion dollars to merchants in 2018.
Amazon knows as the world’s leading online marketplace that boasts of minimum human involvement and more automation. It is incumbent upon it to unravel the whereabouts of the culprit which would serve as a deterrent to others and prevent further occurrence. Amazon lawyers are working round-the-clock to see to a successful conclusion of the cyber breach. Sellers who believe that they are being targeted by phishing emails are advised to contact Amazon at email@example.com
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