Shopify Scams – Shopify is the proprietary e commerce platforms of Shopify Inc., a Canadian multinational e commerce company headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario. The online platforms offer online retailer a multitude of services including payment, marketing, shipping, and customers engagement tool.
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Online scam are rampant. Where there is money to be made, there are people looking to take advantage. Due to the size of its business in the eCommerce worlds, Shopify is a prime target for scammer & scammers targeting both businesses & consumer. These scammer create detailed plan to defraud businesses, vendor, and consumer.
A fairly common tactic employed by online criminal, it is one of the most profitable scam. Scammer create real Shopify sites & also create a dropshipping business. Then, instead of selling the inventory they own, they buy the inventory from real vendor with stolen credit card. The consumer receives the good from the sellers, so it is not a consumer scam. Merchandise is considered stolen since it is purchased with stolen credit card. The scammer receive the money, but the credit card company disputes the charge that was incurred to purchase the inventory. In the end, the supplier runs out of inventory & has not received any payments for it. (Shopify Scams)
Counterfeit Return Scheme
This age old classic scam is not unique to Shopify & grows into a mail order business. Consumers purchase an item and then issue a return within the stipulated time period. When the executive comes to collects, the consumers return a duplicate & cheaper products instead of the originals. This leads to consumer receiving the money they spent on the purchase and keeping the original items of purchase.
The sellers, on the contrary, loses the money & receives a counterfeit products. Fortunately, it’s fairly easy for companies to protects themselves from this scam simply by adding unique identifier such as serial number to their product.
Duplicate Store Scheme
This scheme work exactly as the name suggest. Scammer create & mimic the look of a populars store with a similar domain name & claim to sell the same original products. However, during an actual sale, they may not deliver the merchandise or deliver a low quality products. In the end, this is a two way scams, as both seller & consumer lose out. However, Shopify has taken proactive step to remove such scam sites quickly through software tool & has added this service to its paid monthly maintenance service that it offer to merchant. (Shopify Scams)
The long terms loss that this type of scams causes to the seller makes it one of the most serious scam. This type of scam has been prevalent on sites like eBay. A potential buyer will make a purchase from a Shopify store & request a direct invoice from PayPal, citing technical difficulties preventing the payment from being completed. Once the invoice has been sent, the sellers receives a notifications, apparently from PayPal, confirming payments by the consumer. (Shopify Scams)
The notification will also state that the funds are on hold and will require the product tracking number. Of course, this notifications is false. Once the sellers update the product tracking number, the scammer receives the products for free as there are no PayPal fund being held. This loss can be huge, depending on the size & cost of the shipments.
Fake purchase order scam
This scam is rare but effective & requires technical knowledge and software skill on the part of the scammer. A fraudulent customers will create a copy of the seller Shopify checkout slip & modify the submit button links. Then they will connect you to a programs that allow you to save all the data in the payment sheet. The data is then changed and a fake pay slips is returned at a lower price. The difference goes unnoticed and approved. What this scam does is allows the scammers to get the goods without the seller consent, and the seller end up losing a lot of money.
Direct Client Scheme
This is a scams involving some sweet talking scammer. First, the sellers gains the buyer trust with some genuine transaction where the product are correct & arrive at the correct address. Once trust is established, the sellers suggests a purchase via a direct card payments technique to avoid additionals cost & the hassle inherent in shopping on Shopify. Once they have the buyer card details & others data, they proceed to deplete the buyer fund. It goes without saying that the buyer does not receive their purchases. (Shopify Scams)
As consumer & seller, there are some basic practices that can help safeguard interests. However, it is easier to safeguard as a consumers. Any fraudulent activity, such as non delivery of a sold item, delivery of a substandard items, overcharging, etc., can be reported to the merchant operating on the Shopify platforms.
However, as a seller, the best practice is to have a premium Shopify Store with all its maintenance services that ensure regular check for signs of fraudulent activity. Except for this, it is mainly up to the sellers to be careful. A few step like choosing a secure payment gateway, having a single place for all transaction, and keeping proofs of transaction can go a long way toward protecting business operation and having proofs of when & if scam are reported. (Shopify Scams)
No matter what step any web operating platforms takes, fraudsters & fraudsters always find new ways for their operation. It is prudent to have personal security measures in addition to those provided by the operator.