/ Technology

Scam watch: have you been tricked into signing up for online services?

Phishing email scam watch

A Which? member was signed up to an Amazon seller plan he didn’t ask for. But would you know what to do?

Which? member, John Hedger, contacted us for help after discovering he’d been tricked into signing up for an Amazon seller plan.

John said: ‘I recently received an email from Amazon thanking me for registering for a Pro Merchant Seller Plan. This I certainly hadn’t done – as I had never heard of such an account. I responded directly to the email explaining the situation and asked to cancel.

‘I have since received emails advising me of money that has been transferred to my current account. I have also received emails from alleged ‘customers’ cancelling their orders and requesting refunds. It would appear my email address has been hacked and that someone has set up an account in my name.

‘My loss to date is £30, deducted when the account was opened. I have contacted my bank to cancel the associated credit card, but I’m still receiving numerous emails from Amazon trying to charge me for this account.’

Our advice on email hacking

This is certainly an unfortunate situation and is likely to have originated from a phishing email. Luckily, we understand that Amazon has since refunded your losses and offered you a goodwill gesture.

We’ve seen many examples of genuine-looking emails that direct you to a false, but a convincing looking, website where you’re asked to provide personal details and account information. We’ve been doing our best to raise awareness to these scams by sharing information about them here on Which? Conversation and on our social media channels.

If you’ve been prompted to review or make any changes to your orders or your account, it’s best to navigate directly to Amazon.co.uk and click on ‘Your Account’ in the top right-hand corner of the page.

In general, avoid clicking on links in these emails and sharing your personal details. Usually there are ways you can find out if the email is genuine or not by visiting the company’s website or speaking to their customer services. If you receive one of these spoof Amazon emails then you can forward phishing emails directly to stop-spoofing@amazon.co.uk.

Have you been unwillingly signed up to online services? What did you do and how easy was it to rectify? Do you report phishing emails or do you just ignore them?


Should one assume that for this scam to have worked the member in question had to supply credit card and membership details? If so, perhaps it’s worth reiterating what has been said many, many times before in various topics in here: don’t click on links in emails. Ever. I’d strongly recommend that this becomes the standard advice from Which?. Simply suggesting people should ‘avoid’ following email links isn’t strong enough and certainly not definite.

The member also claims he “recently received an email from Amazon thanking (him) for registering for a Pro Merchant Seller Plan”, but would we be right in thinking the email wasn’t from Amazon? Or was it that his email had been used to sign up for the plan? We need more details of exactly what has happened for this case to be of any real relevance.

This comment was removed at the request of the user

Agreed DO NOT CLICK ON LINKS But as I have said many times some people will always fall for the simplest and most known about simple scam How can they not fall for complicated ones then?? Can you really help them ?

This comment was removed at the request of the user

Only today I got an email pretending to be from my internet provider. Think it fooled me for 0.01 of sec and that was just reading the title of the email. “Your latest xxxx Bill can not be processed”. Looking at the content, it shouldn’t have fooled anyone but I bet many people will fall for it and probably clink on the link. The link says one thing the destination URL being completely different.

Really do think more needs to be done and quicker about making emails more secure.

Recently in another convo I mentioned DMARC, which sounds like it can help, and if so, why aren’t companies being made to implement it.