You may receive emails from Amazon, such as Sold, Ship Now emails or Technical Notification emails. However, sometimes you might receive emails that are not really from Amazon, even if at first glance they may appear to be. Instead, such emails are falsified and attempt to convince you to reveal sensitive account information.
These false emails, also called ‘spoofed’ emails or ‘phishing’, look similar to legitimate emails from Amazon. Often these emails direct you to a false website that looks similar to an Amazon website, where you might be asked to give account information, such as your email address and password combination.
Unfortunately, these false websites can steal your sensitive information, which can then be used without your knowledge to commit fraud.
To protect yourself from responding to these emails, you can follow some simple rules:
Amazon will never ask you for the following information in an email communication:
Be on the lookout for poor grammar or typographical errors. Many phishing emails are translated from other languages or are sent without being proof-read. As a result, these messages can contain bad grammar or typographical errors.
Is the email from Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk, or from a ‘phisher’? Genuine emails come from an email address ending in ‘@amazon.com’, ‘@amazon.lu’ or ‘@amazon.co.uk’.
While phishers will often send a forged email to make it look as though it comes from Amazon, you can frequently determine whether it’s authentic by checking the return address. If the ‘from’ line of the email looks like ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ or ‘email@example.com’, or contains the name of another Internet Service Provider (ISP), you can be sure that it is a fraudulent email.
Most email clients let you examine the source of the email. Check the email header information to make sure that the ‘received from’, ‘reply to’ and ‘return path’ for the email come from @amazon.com or @amazon.co.uk. The method that you use to check the header information varies depending upon your email client.
Some phishers set up spoofed websites that contain the word ‘amazon’ somewhere in the URL. Genuine Amazon websites always end with ‘.amazon.com’ or ‘.amazon.es’ – that is, ‘sellercentral-europe.amazon.com’, ‘sellercentral.amazon.co.uk’, ‘www.amazon.com’, ‘amazonsellerservices.com’ or ‘www.amazon.co.uk’.
We never use a combination such as ‘security-amazon.com’ or ‘amazon.com.biz’.
Some phishing emails 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 Website. If you hover over the link in your email 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 email is to always go directly to your Seller Central account to review or change anything about your account after entering your password.
Never follow any instructions contained in a forged email that claim to provide a method for ‘unsubscribing’. Many spammers use these ‘unsubscribe’ processes to create a list of valid, working email addresses.
The Sold, Dispatch Now email 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.
You can make a difference! Amazon has filed several lawsuits against phishers and spoofers; these lawsuits came about from information provided to Amazon via the firstname.lastname@example.org email address.
Report spoofed emails to Amazon
To locate the header information, configure your email program to show All Headers. (This varies, depending on the email program that you use.) The headers we need are well labelled and will look similar to this example:
X-Date: Tue, 08 Apr 2003 21:02:08 +0000 (UTC)