Anatomy of the Amazon receipt scam

In the rush of holiday ordering and shipping, lots of small businesses that sell via Amazon have been scammed by a pretty simple ruse that includes fake receipts, complaints and e-mail. Here’s how it works:

First, the scammers generate what looks like a legit Amazon business receipt.

What happens once the scammer is armed with his fake receipt? Well, according to the folks at GFI Labs who’ve looked into the scam, it works this way:

Many sellers on Amazon will ask you to send them a copy of your receipt if you run into trouble, have orders go missing, lose your license key for a piece of software, and such.

The gag here is that the scammer relies on the seller not checking the details and accepting the printout at face value. After all, how many sellers would be aware somebody went to the trouble of creating a fake receipt generator in the first place?

Heads up for sellers: Not only will you not have a record of these people buying your products, you should be able to confirm with Amazon that no purchase was ever made.

Check the orange order number at the top, because those are randomly selected from a set of looping numbers every time the scammer clicks on the “Order Number” button — again, something either the seller or Amazon should be able to check.

Finally, the program seems to add some random digits on the “Visa: payment method” section in payment information.

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