The fraud epidemic of Amazon: more readers pay for goods they have never ordered

Amazone sellers who are the victims of fraud are routinely deported, Money Mail can reveal.

In the worst case, customers lose thousands of pounds after being charged with orders they have not done.

It comes after we revealed last month how one reader was billed for £ 80 in goods that he had not ordered.

When readers complain that the online retail giant promises to investigate, he does not respond to their phone calls and e-mails.

Dozens of readers have written to complain about the treatment they received from Internet store giant Amazon after being charged for orders they had not made

Dozens of readers have written to complain about the treatment they received from Internet store giant Amazon after being charged for orders they had not made

When Amazon answers, it usually advises the customer to call his bank, which in turn refers to Amazon.

Here, Money Mail reveals how fraud patients are repeatedly disappointed – and explains exactly what to do when fraudsters target your Amazon account.

HOW FRAUDSTERS HACK YOUR ACCOUNT

All fraudsters that need to enter your account are your Amazon credentials, which are your email address and password.

They often have people mislead to transfer this information by pretending to be another company, such as a telephone or internet provider.

Amazon has repeatedly warned customers about fake e-mails designed to steal their account information.

Typically, customers are encouraged to follow a link and update their personal information.

In reality it is a trick to steal details. Alternatively, fraudsters can buy your personal information on the internet if it is stolen and resold after another company is hacked.

To use Amazon, you need to link a credit or debit card to your account, so you only have to click on items to buy them. Only occasionally you will be asked to confirm your card details.

Experts say that criminals usually make a series of low value orders to see if they continue. They can then make a large purchase or sell the account data to other criminals. The scammers can change the delivery address or try to intercept your packages.

Because you receive an Amazon confirmation email every time you order something, fraud often also hacks your e-mail account to delete the messages before you see them. The problem is that when you detect the fraud, the burden of proof often lies with the customer to prove that they have not ordered the goods.

FORCED TO PUT DETECTIVELY

Ian Pooley, from Hartlepool, had to fight for months to get £ 3,000 back after his account was hacked. In April he saw two payments to Amazon on his credit card statement totaling £ 2,184.

He immediately contacted the company and promised to investigate it. He also reported the fraudulent accusations to American Express, which questioned the accusations on his behalf.

It turned out that he had a baseball cap, a Valentino T-shirt, two Alexander McQueen jumpers and a pair of designer flip-flops from an Italian luxury online retailer called & frmoda.com & # 39; had & # 39; ordered & # 39 ;.

Often fraudsters mislead people into handing in their Amazon credentials by pretending to be another company, such as a telephone or internet provider

Often fraudsters mislead people into handing in their Amazon credentials by pretending to be another company, such as a telephone or internet provider

Often fraudsters mislead people into handing in their Amazon credentials by pretending to be another company, such as a telephone or internet provider

Ian had not seen the order when signing in to his account because it was under a section with & # 39; hidden orders & # 39; stood – what Amazon says is for customers who want to keep secret purchases like gifts.

While Amazon was investigating, another £ 879 transaction appeared that Ian did not recognize on his credit card at Amazon Marketplace.

The complaint was taken from his credit card account, but a few days later he was returned.

It turned out that Amazon had told American Express that Ian had received the goods and Fedex paperwork had been sent as proof of delivery.

At this point Ian decided to take matters into his own hands and contact Fedex. The delivery company confirmed that the goods had been delivered to someone named Ian Pooley, but in London, not Hartlepool.

Then he sent all this evidence to Amazon but received no answer. Only at the end of June – more than two months after the fraud was reported – the accusations were finally removed.

Ian, 67, a retired oil and gas advisor, says: "Companies like Amazon think they are so big that they do not have to provide customer service. They must be put to the test for the suffering they cause. & # 39;

After Money Mail intervened, Amazon offered a £ 50 voucher as a gesture of goodwill.

SUPPLIED FROM PILLAR TO POST

Zoe Simmons says she fought against Amazon and her bank since £ 446 was taken off her bill in August

Zoe Simmons says she fought against Amazon and her bank since £ 446 was taken off her bill in August

Zoe Simmons says she fought against Amazon and her bank since £ 446 was taken off her bill in August

Many victims of fraud can not get money back because Amazon and the bank both think that the other person is responsible.

Experts say that the banks must repay the money according to the so-called chargeback rules, which apply to disputed transactions on credit cards and payment cards.

But if Amazon examines and thinks you have received the items, as it did with Ian, then it will try to stop the refund.

Zoe Simmons says she fought against Amazon and her bank since £ 446 was taken off her bill in August. The PA, 27, received an e-mail from Amazon on 30 August to thank her for her order. Before she could open the message, it was gone.

The next day she checked her bank balance and saw that £ 446 had been taken by Amazon.

It turned out that fraudsters had hacked her Amazon account and had ordered two mobile phones. Then they stepped into her e-mail account hoping to delete the e-mail with the order confirmation before she saw it.

Zoe, from Bexleyheath, London, contacted Amazon, who told her that it would investigate and that her bank would reimburse her.

But when Zoe called NatWest, she said that Amazon was responsible for repaying, because the fraud took place at the end of the store and had nothing to do with her card.

Stunned and panicked, flying to New York the next day for a vacation, had to borrow money from partner Daniel, 29.

Since she has gone home, she has passed back and forth between the two companies, each member has to pay the bill. Trading standards advised her to file a formal complaint with NatWest and Amazon. ]

The bank responded with an offer of £ 100 for the inconvenience, but said it still could not help. Amazon claimed that it could not give a refund. It was only after Money Mail contacted Amazon that it agreed to repay it.

REIMBURSEMENT REQUEST WAS KNOWN

For many customers, the lack of communication from Amazon is so frustrating. Rita Hamilton says she has contacted the company at least ten times since almost £ 500 has been withdrawn from her account.

In September a deliveryman came to her door with a big box. She refused to take it because she knew that if one of her three daughters had ordered something online, they would have told her.

Rita Hamilton says she has contacted Amazon at least a dozen times since almost £ 500 has been withdrawn from her account

Rita Hamilton says she has contacted Amazon at least a dozen times since almost £ 500 has been withdrawn from her account

Rita Hamilton says she has contacted Amazon at least a dozen times since almost £ 500 has been withdrawn from her account

Later Rita, 76, a former housekeeper, saw two suspicious transactions on her statements. One, dated 12 September, was for an Xbox that cost £ 444.96.

The other was a £ 20.49 charge on September 17 for an unknown item.

Rita, who lives in Christchurch, Dorset, with the 90-year-old husband Geoff, says she only uses Amazon to buy e-books for her Kindle or DVDs that cost a few pounds.

She contacted her bank who canceled her card and sent her to Amazon for reimbursement. But when she complained about the fraud, the shopkeeper did nothing.

& # 39; You come through to someone and have to tell the whole story again. Amazon never does anything. It is as if employees are following a script. I just go around in circles & # 39 ;, she says.

& # 39; This is a considerable amount of money, but Amazon has worn me out. I want to give up. & # 39; Experts believe that scammers have hacked their account and ordered the Xbox, hoping to intercept the delivery. It was not until Money Mail contacted Amazon that it agreed to repay her and offer a £ 50 voucher as a gesture of goodwill.

FURY IS DISABLED

Alan Jeffery is also furious because he is ignored for weeks. His problems started when two boxes arrived at his home in Basingstoke at the beginning of September.

He thought they were a birthday present from his daughter Kerry. But when he opened them, he discovered a pair of pink headphones, two pairs of binoculars, and a callus-removal machine.

Alan Jeffery first thought that the Amazon boxes that arrived at his home were a birthday present from his daughter

Alan Jeffery first thought that the Amazon boxes that arrived at his home were a birthday present from his daughter

Alan Jeffery first thought that the Amazon boxes that arrived at his home were a birthday present from his daughter

He called Amazon and was told that a total of five orders had been made for a total of £ 189.

When Alan, 69, said that he had not ordered any of the items, Amazon promised that the fraud team would contact.

As soon as he hung up, Alan called NatWest to cancel his card. The bank said that because the fraud took place on his Amazon account, not on his credit card, it was up to the merchant to pay him back.

Alan, a semi-retired mechanical design engineer, says for weeks that he has emailed Amazon asking where he can return the unwanted goods and get a refund.

Whenever he received the same reply, he thanked him for informing the unauthorized activity.

Alan says: & # 39; The arrogance of Amazon is amazing. They do not want to know. They have fired me and showed a complete contempt for the situation.

I think they hope I'll leave. & # 39; Alan has now returned the items to Amazon and sent them to the bank with proof and proof of shipment to get his money back. Amazon sent him a voucher of £ 30 to show goodwill.

In the meantime, Annie and Robin Cox from Hampshire waited more than eight weeks after reporting fraud on their account.

They had received three packages in August with a Wifi Smart Bulb and two metal detectors.

The next day Robin, 73, checked his bank account and saw that three payments of £ 18.49, £ 18.99 and £ 15.99 – a total of £ 53.47 – had been taken from his account.

Annie and Robin Cox, from Hampshire, waited more than eight weeks after reporting fraud on their account

Annie and Robin Cox, from Hampshire, waited more than eight weeks after reporting fraud on their account

Annie and Robin Cox, from Hampshire, waited more than eight weeks after reporting fraud on their account

He called to Amazon and received a phone call within 24 hours, but none came. Amazon has promised to contact the couple to advise them on the next steps.

Adam French, expert in consumer rights at Which?, Says that staff at banks and Amazon have not learned the right processes.

He says: "This is another example of how retailers and banks do not do enough to protect us against fraud or help us get our money back.

These are horrible examples of customer service. It is clear that the banks and Amazon do not have their homes in order. & # 39;

An Amazon spokesperson would not comment on individual cases, but encouraged customers to pay attention to fraudulent e-mails stating that changes to orders should be made via accounts and not by responding to e-mails.

a.murray@dailymail.co.uk

What to do if your Amazon account is hacked

Call Amazon on 0800 279 7234 to report the fraud in your account. You may be advised to change your password.

Then report the incident to your bank. But instead of describing it as fraud, tell it that you want to dispute the transactions that you have not authorized and want to undo.

If you have paid with a debit card, you ask the bank to recover the money using the recovery rules. If you have paid with a credit card, ask for a refund under Article 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. Adam French, from the consumer organization Which?, Says that the key to getting your money back is how you report the incident. It is important that your bank does not consider the transactions as fraudulent if you want to get your money back quickly because fraud cases take much longer to investigate.

& # 39; After you have asked to reverse the payments, you can inform your bank that you are concerned about your bank details being exposed and asking for a new card. & # 39;

Beware of unsolicited calls from banks and other organizations that ask for personal information. These can be scam calls from scammers who now have your data.

Mr. French adds that there is a limited time limit with claims for recovery, so make sure you do them within 120 days of the payment.

If you have received the goods, you may have to return the items and provide proof of shipment before your bank agrees to reimburse you.

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