AMAZON HAS BECOME the latest victim of a fraud campaign after cybercrims hacked the bank accounts of almost 100 merchants.
The fraud occurred between May and October last year, according to Bloomberg, enabling hackers to transfer funds from merchant accounts. The report is based on redacted UK legal documents filed by Amazon in November 2018.
While specific details of the scam are not yet available, the documents suggest that hackers exploited sellers' accounts and replaced credentials stored on the Seller Central platform with accounts at Barclays Plc and Prepay Technologies Ltd. The first fraudulent transaction was carried out on 16 May 2018, as per the filing.
Amazon said it is currently investigating the scam.
It is yet unclear how the criminals succeeded in changing bank details of the seller accounts, but Amazon believes that sellers may have fallen prey to a phishing attack and provided their private account details to hackers.
Amazon lawyers have now asked a judge in London court to allow searches of account statements at Prepay and Barclays in the hope of finding out more information about the fraud, identifying the criminals, trace the misappropriated funds transferred into hackers' accounts, and deter criminals from future wrongdoings.
Amazon units mentioned in the legal filing include Amazon Capital Services UK, according to Bloomberg. Amazon Capital Services provides loans to merchants for up to one year. Last year, the company provided over $1bn in loans to sellers, as per a report by Amazon.
The incidents highlight how even the largest online retail platform in the world can be exploited by cyber-criminals and how difficult it can be for the company to identify the culprits.
In a statement, Barclays told Bloomberg that it takes all necessary steps to protect customers from online fraud and also tries to quickly freeze accounts that it believes are being used for cybercrime.
Prepay didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. µ
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