Protecting Your Etsy Shop from Scams

Publication date: January 23, 2024

Reading time:  5 minutes

Etsy scams have become increasingly prevalent, with numerous sellers reporting a surge in scam messages compared to legitimate customer inquiries. As an Etsy seller, it is crucial to be aware of these scams, recognize their tell-tale signs, and know how to protect yourself and your Etsy shop from falling victim to these deceptive schemes.

The Growing Threat of Etsy Scams

Etsy scams have reached an alarming level, targeting both seasoned and novice sellers alike. Scammers are well aware that newcomers may be unfamiliar with the platform’s intricacies and are eager to make their first sales, making them prime targets. These unscrupulous individuals aim to extract sensitive information such as login credentials or credit card numbers from vulnerable sellers.

The Most Common Etsy Scam

The number one most prevalent scam tactic on Etsy involves scammers requesting the seller’s email address. This fraudulent activity typically takes one of two forms:

  • Impersonating Customers: Scammers pretend to be customers who claim they cannot complete a transaction without the seller’s email address.
  • Pretending to Be Etsy Support: Scammers craft messages that appear to originate from Etsy support itself, requesting the seller’s email address.

Here are some examples of these scams as well as the warning signs for Etsy sellers to be aware of.

Example 1:

“Hello, your shop is temporarily unable to accept new orders. To restore the shop and see new orders in your profile, please write your email address in the chat. You will be sent a notification where you can complete a simple verification. Regards, Etsy.”

What are the warning signs in Example 1?

  1. Etsy already possesses your email address, as you used it to create your account.
  2. Etsy support will never contact you in this manner. Etsy has a designated inbox for official messages that is separate from the messages from customers when viewing your Etsy messages from your browser. Be aware that this is not true if viewing your messages via the Etsy Sellers App.

Example 2:

“Hello! It seems that your bank details are out of date or need to be updated, payments and orders are not reaching you. To update them, you send us your email in a reply message in the chat to create a request. You will receive an email and proceed as instructed. Otherwise, your account be blocked within 24 hours of the email being sent to you. Sorry for inconvenience, Etsy.”

What are the warning signs in Example 2?

  1. Poor grammar and sentence structure are common in scam messages.
  2. Etsy would not ask for such information through unsolicited messages.

Example 3:

“Sales in your store are temporarily suspended to complete verification. Please provide your email address so we can send you a verification form.”

What are the warning signs in Example 3?

  1. Critical shop information, such as suspensions, is communicated through the seller’s dashboard.
  2. Again, Etsy already possesses your email address.

Example 4:

“Hello, I want to order from you, but I need your email. I contacted support, they said that because you have new store, they have not yet connected the automatic ordering system, so the seller’s email is required. Thank you.”

What are the warning signs in Example 4?

  1. Customers do not need your email address to place an order on Etsy.
  2. Poor grammar and sentence structure are common in scam messages.

Example 5:

“Hi, We would like to inform you that we have blocked sales on your account due to suspicious activity on your part. Please provide your E-mail to avoid a full block on site. Sincerely, Etsy customer service 🙂.”

What are the warning signs in Example 5?

  • Etsy support does not employ emojis or provide vague explanations for account issues. They would simply close a compromised account.
  • The way that the sender spells “E-mail.” Etsy is aware of these scams and because of this, they have begun to flag suspicious accounts that mention email addresses. By using variants of the word email—such as e-mail, e.mail, or e mail—scammers are attempting to work around Etsy’s flagging system.

What Scammers Do with Your Email

When scammers obtain your email address, they often send deceptive pages resembling Etsy’s official website. Some of these pages are remarkably convincing. Once you enter your email and password, scammers gain access to your account, potentially changing your bank details to divert your revenue or steal your existing banking information.

Recovering your account after a scammer has accessed it can be challenging, as Etsy frequently closes such accounts instead of restoring them. Additionally, you may need to contact your bank to report compromised bank account details.

Protecting Your Etsy Shop

With Etsy scams on the rise, it is crucial to take action when you encounter an obvious scam message. Marking such messages as spam is an effective way to protect yourself. Reporting spam messages will not negatively impact your star seller status. Therefore, there is no need to respond to scammers. Etsy actively flags accounts reported for spam, making it more challenging for scammers to operate.

The ability to mark the message as spam is only available when viewing your messages in your Etsy inbox from a browser. To mark a message as spam, click the box next to the message and then click “Mark as Spam” from the top bar. See below.

Demonstration of how to mark a message as spam

However, you cannot mark a message as spam through the Etsy Sellers App. You will need to log into Etsy using a browser.

To summarize, here is what you should watch out for:

  • Requests for your email address
  • Obvious grammatical errors and poor language
  • Use of emojis
  • Requests for sensitive information such as bank account details
  • Communication from Etsy NOT through their designated inbox 

By staying vigilant and recognizing the signs of scams, you can safeguard your Etsy shop and personal information from these deceitful individuals. Your knowledge and awareness can help prevent financial losses and contribute to the fight against scams on Etsy. In addition, remember to NEVER click on links from unknown sources on Etsy.

For more information about spotting and reporting scams on Etsy, check out THIS ARTICLE from Etsy in their Help Center.