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This article applies to selling in: United Kingdom

Identifying False (Spoofed) E-mails

From time to time, you might receive e-mails from Amazon.co.uk, such as your Sold, Dispatch Now e-mails or Technical Notifications e-mail. In some cases, however, these e-mails do not come from actual Amazon.co.uk accounts; instead, they are falsified and attempt to convince you to reveal sensitive account information. These false e-mails, also called "spoof e-mails" or "phishing e-mails," look similar to real e-mail. Often these e-mails direct you to a false Web site that looks similar to an Amazon.co.uk Web site, where you might be asked to give your account information and password.

Unfortunately, these false Web sites can steal your sensitive information; later, this information can be used without your knowledge to commit fraud.

To protect yourself from responding to these e-mails and revealing sensitive or private information, you can follow a few simple rules:

Know what Amazon.co.uk won't ask for

Amazon.co.uk will never ask you for the following information in an e-mail communication:

  • Your National Insurance Number
  • Your bank account information, credit card number, PIN number, or credit card security code (including "updates" to any of the above)
  • Your mother's maiden name or other information to identify you (such as your place of birth or your favourite pet's name)
  • Your Amazon.co.uk or Seller Central password

Review grammatical or typographical errors

Be on the lookout for poor grammar or typographical errors. Many phishing e-mails are translated from other languages or are sent without being proof-read. As a result, these messages can contain bad grammar or typographical errors.

Check the return address

Is the e-mail from Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk or from a "phisher"? Genuine e-mails come from an e-mail address ending in "@amazon.com", "@amazon.lu" or "@amazon.co.uk".

While phishers often send forged e-mail to make it look like it comes from Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk, you can frequently determine whether it's authentic by checking the return address. If the "from" line of the e-mail looks like "amazon-security@hotmail.com" or "amazon-payments@msn.com," or contains the name of another Internet Service Provider (ISP), you can be sure it is a fraudulent e-mail.

Most e-mail clients let you examine the source of the e-mail. Check the e-mail header information to see that the "received from," "reply to," and "return path" for the e-mail comes from "@amazon.com", "@amazon.lu" or "@amazon.co.uk". The method you use to check the header information varies depending upon the e-mail client you use.

Check the Web site address

Some phishers set up spoofed Web sites that contain the word "amazon" somewhere in the URL. Genuine Amazon Web sites always end with ".amazon.com" or ".amazon.co.uk" -- that is, "sellercentral-europe.amazon.com", "sellercentral.amazon.co.uk", "www.amazon.com" or "www.amazon.co.uk".

We never use a combination such as "security-amazon.com" or "amazon.com.biz".

When in doubt, go directly to the Seller Central Web site

Some phishing e-mails include a link that looks as though it will take you to your Seller Central account, but it is really a shortened link to a completely different Web site. If you hover over the link in your e-mail client, you can sometimes see the underlying, false Web address, either as a pop-up or as information in the browser status bar:

The best way to ensure that you do not respond to a phishing e-mail is to always go directly to your Seller Central account to review or change anything about your account after entering your password. Never click a link embedded in an e-mail.

Please note: In some cases, hovering your mouse over a link can still show a spoofed address instead of the real address. Do not depend upon hovering over a link to determine whether a link is real. In every case, never click a link embedded in an e-mail.

Do not "Unsubscribe"

Never follow any instructions contained in a forged e-mail that claim to provide a method for "unsubscribing." Many spammers use these "unsubscribe" processes to create a list of valid, working e-mail addresses.

Use the features in Seller Central to track your orders

The Sold, Dispatch Now e-mail can be a useful tool, but the most accurate and up-to-date information for your orders is always found by clicking the Orders tab in Seller Central. The default page, Manage Orders, shows you the most recent orders.

How You Can Help Stop Phishers and Spoofers

You can make a difference! Amazon has filed several lawsuits against phishers and spoofers; these lawsuits came about from information provided to Amazon through the stop-spoofing@amazon.com e-mail address.

Report spoofed e-mails to Amazon

  • Create a new e-mail to stop-spoofing@amazon.com and attach the original, spoofed e-mail. Sending the e-mail as an attachment is the best way to preserve the "header information," which makes it easier for Amazon to trace the origin of the forgery.
  • If you cannot send the forged e-mail as an attachment, forward the e-mail to stop-spoofing@amazon.com, and include as much of the header information as you can. To find the header information, configure your e-mail programme to show All Headers (this varies, depending on the e-mail programme you use). The headers we need are well labelled and look similar to this:

X-Sender: someone@domain.com
X-Sender-IP: [10.1.2.3]
X-Date: Tue, 08 Apr 2003 21:02:08 +0000 (UTC)
X-Recipient: you@domain.com
X-OUID: 1

Please note: Amazon will not be able to respond to all of the e-mails it receives through the stop-spoofing@amazon.com e-mail address. If you have specific questions about your account, check the Seller Central Help documentation, or use the Contact Us feature.

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