Amazon reveals it was a target of 'extensive' fraud affecting seller accounts

  • Money intended for loans to be sent from Amazon to third-party sellers and businesses was redirected by malicious actors, Amazon revealed in a UK regulatory filing in November. The filing was unearthed by Bloomberg.
  • Hackers broke in to about 100 seller accounts and took the loan money intended to be used for business and startup costs. They then put it in their own bank accounts, according to Bloomberg.
  • The “extensive” fraud occurred over a period of six months, the regulatory filing said.
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Amazon was the target of an “extensive” fraud last year, the company revealed in a filing with a UK regulatory board in November. The filing was unearthed by Bloomberg on Wednesday.

Money intended for loans to be sent from Amazon to third-party sellers and businesses – likely hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth – was redirected by malicious actors. They reportedly hacked into about 100 seller accounts and took the loan money, which was intended to be used for business and startup costs.

The hackers were able to get into these accounts and change the payment details to their own bank accounts. The filing did not reveal how much money was taken or how the accounts were accessed, according to Bloomberg. Individual online accounts are often accessed maliciously through phishing scams that trick holders into handing over account details unknowingly.

The fraud occurred over a period of six months, the filing said, with the first instance of fraud occurring in May 2018.


Read more:
Amazon reveals how third-party sellers are kicking its butt on sales as part of small business charm offensive

The practice of Amazon giving out loans to its third-party sellers is widespread in the markets where it operates. It revealed in its annual small and medium business report on Tuesday that it gave out more than $US1 billion in loans to its third-party sellers and partners in 2018.

An Amazon spokesperson declined to comment on the case but said that any seller who believes they have received a phishing email should send a message to [email protected]

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