How to Handle Scams and Suspicious Messages

Authentic messages from Etsy always include an Etsy staff verification badge. If somebody messages you claiming to be an Etsy employee and you do not see this badge, do not reply and mark the message as spam. 

Etsy is actively engaged in preventing scammers from targeting our community members. If you receive a suspicious message concerning an item in your shop, please proceed with caution.

Scammers typically create multiple accounts on Etsy and send the same message to different sellers with little or no personalization. They will often target sellers who list high-priced items in their shop.

How to mark a message as spam

Do not respond to the message. Etsy does not recommend engaging with suspicious messages for any reason. Responding will encourage the scammers and cause you to receive further scam messages.

If you receive a suspicious message, you can mark it as spam by following these steps:

  1. Sign in to Etsy and go to Your Account.
  2. Go to Messages 
  3. Select the suspicious message from your inbox. 
  4. Choose Mark as Spam

This will move the message out of your inbox and into your Spam folder. However, you will continue to receive emails about new replies in that message. Learn how to unsubscribe from email notifications.

To send it back to your inbox, go into your Spam folder and select the message, then choose Not Spam.

Common scammer techniques

The following characteristics or any combination of them may indicate the message is a scam:

  • Pretending to be a buyer who is having trouble checking out and needs your email to complete their purchase. They claim that by providing your email, you'll get a link to receive payment with further instructions. They may also include a fake screenshot meant to look like the Etsy site asking for them to input your email.

    Your email is never required for a buyer to complete a purchase.

  • Claiming there was an issue accepting payment for their order and sending you a fake QR code through Messages saying that you need to scan it to confirm their purchase. 

  • Asking for additional items to be added to their order. For example, asking sellers to purchase and include a highly priced gift card with their order and promising to pay them back later. 

  • Claiming they want to purchase items listed in a link which is actually malware or a link to a phishing site.

  • Offering to send you more money than you are asking for your item? This is known as an overpayment scam.

  • Insisting you reply via a personal email address, off of Etsy? A buyer who immediately insists on communicating off of our site may be questionable.

  • Seeming to not have read or looked at your listing, based on their vague questions.

  • Refusing to go through Etsy Checkout, thereby disqualifying the transaction from any Etsy protection.

  • Having a particular interest in an item of relatively high value. Scammers tend to focus on mid and high-value listings.  

Etsy Support won’t make unrequested phone calls without prior notification. Don’t call phone numbers you may see circulating online, as they may not be legitimate.

If you have further questions regarding a suspicious message you received, or if you exchanged money with a suspected scammer, please contact us by select the Contact support button at the bottom of this page.

At that point, we also encourage you to contact your local law enforcement and financial institution.

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