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Etsy Urges Vigilance as Scammers Target Its Sellers

Sometimes it feels like we’re all just one click away from being defrauded, and as we reported on June 27th, campaigns are targeting Etsy sellers with some very convincing messages.

Knowing how scams work can help protect online sellers from easy-to-fall for schemes, and on Thursday, Etsy issued a warning to sellers that could prove helpful.

“We noted a recent uptick in sellers sharing examples of communications from individuals claiming to be Etsy Support employees,” Etsy said.

In what could be a nod to users like Bradgoodell, a seller who frequently posts on the marketplace discussion boards to warn his colleagues, Etsy continued, “We appreciate the community’s dedication to keeping your accounts and the Etsy marketplace safe.” It also said it had “teams and processes working year-round to help prevent fraud and keep your account secure and your partnership is imperative.”

The tips it shared could be applied to sellers on any site – for example, Etsy shared: “Don’t call phone numbers you may see circulating online, as they may not be legitimate.” We’ve seen reports where sellers use popular search engines to look up “(Marketplace name) customer support” and are presented with bogus numbers that belong to fraudsters – not the marketplace.

“Etsy Support won’t make unrequested phone calls without prior notification,” Etsy added. “If you receive an unexpected phone call from someone claiming to be Etsy Support, hang up and reach out to Etsy through the Contact Support button in the Help Center if you need help or to report the call,” it said. “Phone support can only be safely requested for supported topics through Etsy’s Contact Support form.”

In addition to posing as Etsy Support reps, scammers may pose as buyers. It warned sellers, “If a buyer claims they’re having trouble checking out from your shop, please direct them to contact Etsy Support so the team can review the issue they’re having and provide assistance.”

Sellers critiqued the announcement post, adding some of their own suggestions on how Etsy could help sellers avoid scams. Bradgoodell posted, “I’m so happy Etsy has taken a first step in acknowledging the problem. A notice on the dashboard should be next.”

Ina Steiner

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She’s a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of “Turn eBay Data Into Dollars” (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, “Blogging Heroes” (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 – present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 – present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.

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