IPSecure monitors thousands of Amazon product listings and millions of sellers daily in our quest to protect brands, grow sales, and improve the consumer experience on the world’s most important marketplace; we see all manner of scams, primarily targeting brand owners.
Larger brands and distributors are sophisticated, however Amazon also consists of a massive ocean of authorized, legitimate merchants, millions of them. This vital community is especially vulnerable. As competition and costs on Amazon increase, so does the pool of increasingly desperate, smaller, online sellers.
Here is a great example which came through my spam filter. It's a (very spammy) press release, announcing the debut of UngatingAmazon.com, LLC - a company that claims they can help (for a hefty fee) sellers unlock access to Gated brands, so they can sell, restricted, Gated products on Amazon.
The press release even has this nifty, infomercial-like video, that redirects to their website, which is now dark.
On a very regular basis we hear about Amazon sellers that have their seller accounts deactivated for forged or manipulated documents. In some cases, it's an innocent mistake, a discrepancy spotted by Amazon, or a mis-match in product quantities.
In many cases, sellers are being roped into services like the one above, and what they are paying for are forged documents and invoices which are then used in an attempt to deceive Amazon and gain access to Gated products.
This would be an extremely bad decision. Not only is this fraud, Amazon has sophisticated scanning capabilities that use AI (and large teams) as part of the document review process, not to mention the fact that most Gated brands are usually big, and have close relationships with Amazon, so verification of suspicious distributors or documents can be easily attained.
In the end, any service that offers to help you circumvent Amazon Terms Of Service, is a very bad idea. The very premise behind Gating; to obtain pre-approval to sell certain restricted items on Amazon, means you as a seller must demonstrate that you are obtaining the items from reliable and genuine sources. Simply put, Ungating services are a scam.
If a seller "buys" an invoice without a product, it is fraudulent, and you, not the spammy Ungating service, are responsible. It is you, the seller, who will lose your Amazon seller account to suspension, and not the fraudster. By working with them, you are definitely participating in the fraud, you know the verification documents you’re submitting are fakes.
While most of the focus recently has been on Amazon’s sweeps of fake reviews, our hope is that, in the future, they may turn their attention to the ‘Ungating’ industry as these types of scams seem to grow more prolific with each day.