Amazon falls prey to 'serious' online fraud; merchants drained of funds over 6 months
Nearly 100 Amazon seller accounts are believed to have been exposed during a fraudulent campaign that unfolded between May and October 2018.Sutrishna Ghosh
Online retail giant Amazon seems to be the latest victim to have fallen prey to online frauds and phishing scams. According to reports, the e-retailer was hit by a “serious” fraud case that enabled hackers to drain cash from the accounts of its sellers over a course of six months.
Nearly 100 Amazon seller accounts are believed to have been exposed during this fraudulent campaign that unfolded between May and October 2018. During this period, unidentified hackers reportedly funneled funds from the merchant’s accounts earned through sales or loans.
While specific details pertaining to the online scam are not available at the moment, Bloomberg reported that the incident was currently under investigation. It is understood that the compromised accounts were exploited by hackers to alter the sellers’ banking credentials on the Seller Central platform to their own at Barclays Plc and Prepay Technologies Ltd, as per legal documents filed by the internet giant in the UK.
The merchants allegedly fell prey to some sort of phishing technique that lured them into giving up private account information.
In light of this scam, legal documents obtained by media reports revealed that Amazon has now sought approval from a London judge to search account statements at Barclays and Prepay.
Although the company understands that two institutions “have become innocently mixed up in the wrongdoing”, per reports, the documents are necessary “to investigate the fraud, identify and pursue the wrongdoers, locate the whereabouts of misappropriated funds, bring the fraud to an end, and deter future wrongdoing”.
Apart from the fact that the biggest retail company in the world has found itself victimised by an extensive online scam, no further details have been revealed by the company. It’s not clear how the hackers were able to alter bank details of the merchant accounts. The amount of money stolen by hackers is also in the dark.