TEE #036 Securing Your Business: Outsmarting the Etsy Scam ArtistsNov 25, 2023
Read time: 4 minutes
As an Etsy seller, your shop is your pride and joy – likely built carefully over years with loving attention to each treasure offered. However, with the recent surge of sophisticated phishing scams targeting the platform, our members' valuable creations, customer data and even identities face malicious threat from hackers. Falling victim could damage everything you’ve worked so hard to accomplish. I strongly urge you to implement key safeguards and “cyber street smarts” to shield the shops so vital to our livelihoods.
Expert hackers specifically leverage the high trust relationships between Etsy site users via direct messaging or chat to spread convincing phony links. If clicking these infected links, devastating malware could hold your entire device hostage until paying a ransom. Or stealthily siphon off shop details, order history, customer data and even personal identity information to sell on the booming underground dark web marketplaces.
The essential first line of defence lies in getting savvy to common tactics used in Etsy scams:
- Unsolicited messages urgently requiring you click on a link or share sensitive information to “verify your account”. Etsy would only communicate policy or account details directly via official channels on the site – never via third party links.
- Emails impersonating Etsy security asking you to download files or click password reset links. Always double check the actual email address – scammers often create lookalike contacts.
- Listings flagged for policy violations that panic you into clicking unfamiliar links to correct urgent issues. Etsy’s process involves direct notification and guidance within their dashboard.
- High value custom orders requesting to continue in email for shop policies or payment processing. Commit to completing all sales only via Etsy’s secured marketplace transactions.
Check out an example of what these scams look like:
Should you accidentally click a tricky phishing link or engage with suspicious requests, immediately run antivirus software in case of malware installation then change all passwords, prioritizing financial accounts and your Etsy shop. Turn on enhanced multi-factor authentication for key accounts to require secondary credentials beyond your password when logging in.
But betting your business’s fate purely on catching tricky scammers sets a dangerous gamble. Rather exert proactive efforts into ongoing shop safety:
- Create unique complex passwords for each site, changing them every 60-90 days
- Always opt into multi-factor authentication, providing secondary protections for login
- Back up critical business files/images on secure external drives in case hackers lock access
- Research cybersecurity basics to stay ahead of crafty criminal technology
Companies with over ££££'s in digital assets actually leverage dedicated IT security staff. While microbusinesses on Etsy can’t afford a full tech squad, a bit of cyber safety knowledge and smart tools goes a long way. Construct the digital equivalent of sturdy shop locks and lighting to send scammers on their way. Your lovingly nurtured shop deserves no less.
Whenever you're ready, there are 3 ways I can help you:
If you're still looking for traction in your Etsy business, I'd recommend starting with one of the following:
1. → My Free Etsy Workshop: Perfect for you if you are just starting out on Etsy. Learn how you can turn your creative passions into cash to earn your first £1000 on Etsy.
2. → Join my Free Community: Successful Etsy Entrepreneurs is a Facebook community filled with creative people just like yourself all looking to grow their inline businesses.
3. → Join my VIP Members: Successful Ecommerce Entrepreneurs for only £7 a month. With my expert guidance and actionable strategies in my private membership, you'll gain the skills and knowledge you need to build a profitable and sustainable online business.
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