Someone has hijacked my Amazon account but I can’t get into it

It seems rogue sellers have used it to generate fake reviews

I received a parcel from Amazon, a website I haven’t used for years. Several emails confirmed an order of three items, announced two-step verification on my account and warned a sign-in from an iPhone in Illinois had been detected.

The next day an email thanked me for joining Amazon Prime. Since then I have had other emails showing semi-literate five-star reviews of the products. My bank confirmed no money has been debited. But you can’t contact Amazon without an account, and I can no longer access mine. I’ve now received emails telling me I’ve ordered a catflap but my payment has been declined.
FS, Brighton

Amazon took prompt action to secure your account and cancel the pending orders once I raised your case. If you no longer shop with the company, you would be wise to delete the account. I suspect you were one of a number of customers whose accounts have been infiltrated by rogue sellers to generate fake five-star reviews. Possibly you weren’t charged because the card registered to your account has expired.

The problem of complaining to Amazon if you don’t have an account – or can’t access an old one – is shared by CP of East Grinstead, West Sussex. She discovered a Chinese seller had hijacked the name, address and registration number of her company to market cheap products on Amazon. “I’ve never registered as a seller on Amazon, which clearly does not do basic due diligence when registering new traders,” she writes.

Since CP does not have an Amazon account, she found it impossible to report the fraud. It’s hard to believe that she is the only trader to have had her details stolen to give a veneer of respectability to rogue sellers. It’s pretty poor, therefore, that Amazon’s rigid systems make it impossible for her to flag this up.

Amazon says: “We have policies that all sellers agree to and we take swift action against those that violate them, including suspending or removing selling privileges. We take this responsibility seriously, monitor our decision accuracy and maintain a high bar.” In CP’s case, however, swift action only ensued when I contacted the press office and the rogue trader’s account was removed.

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Anna Tims

The GuardianTramp

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