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'Where's my tractor?' - customers fleeced as 400,000 random products appear on Norfolk company's hacked Amazon account

PUBLISHED: 14:37 02 July 2019 | UPDATED: 14:37 02 July 2019

Sunshine Solar Ltd, based in Ashwellthorpe near Wymondham, had its Amazon account hacked. Picture: Sunshine Solar Ltd

Sunshine Solar Ltd, based in Ashwellthorpe near Wymondham, had its Amazon account hacked. Picture: Sunshine Solar Ltd

Sunshine Solar Ltd

A solar panel company has been bombarded with hundreds of calls from customers asking about tractors, cameras and guitars after its Amazon account was hacked.

Sunshine Solar Ltd, based in Ashwellthorpe near Wymondham, had its Amazon account hacked. Picture: AmazonSunshine Solar Ltd, based in Ashwellthorpe near Wymondham, had its Amazon account hacked. Picture: Amazon

On Saturday, June 22, more than 400,000 products appeared on Sunshine Solar Ltd's online page that had nothing to do with solar power.

Company director John Clark said he first became aware of the scam on Saturday evening after noticing spa hot tubs, garden fountains, tractors, cameras and other odd items being sold on the account, some costing thousands of pounds.

Mr Clark notified Amazon straight away of the dilemma but it was not until four days later that the account was finally shut down on Wednesday, June 26.

While Amazon could not comment specifically on the matter, it warned customers and sellers to be wary of spoof emails sent by fraudsters posing as Amazon.

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In the five days the Amazon account was still live, Sunshine Solar, based in Ashwellthorpe near Wymondham, was hit with hundreds of phone calls and emails from customers from as far as Germany asking where their purchased items were.

The calls got so bad that a voicemail greeting was set up to deal with the incoming calls, which advised customers to get in touch with Amazon's customer service.

"The phones kept ringing," Mr Clark said. "There were hundreds of calls, mostly from Germany. We had loads of people asking 'where's my stuff?' It was a nightmare, there were calls coming from all over Europe, I had one person saying he didn't receive his lawn mower."

What made the matter worse, Mr Clark said, was that the products were being listed for well below market value, which attracted a lot of bargain buyers.

"It took five days for Amazon to close the account and in that time people were getting fleeced," he added. "It was an awful experience. I have to say, I never want to deal with Amazon again, it was absolutely appalling."

A spokesman for Amazon said: "From time to time, customers and sellers may receive e-mails appearing to come from Amazon, which are actually false e-mails, sometimes called spoof e-mails or phishing e-mails.

"These can look similar to real Amazon e-mails but often direct the recipient to a false website where they might be asked to provide account information such as their email address and password combination."

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