- Amazon fake review scam discovered, affects nearly 200,000 users.
- Fake Amazon reviews ‘being sold in bulk’ online.
- Over 200,000 people affected by Amazon review scam data leak.
A database used to operate an Amazon fake reviews scam has leaked online, revealing personal data for at least 200,000 people.
The scam operates by Amazon vendors sending lists of products to reviewers that they wish to receive a five-star review for. The reviewers then buy the items and provide a five-star “review” for them on Amazon.
Once the review is given on Amazon, the reviewer sends a message back to the vendor, which also includes the link to Amazon’s profile and PayPal details. The reviewer then gets the refund for the item purchased and also gets to keep the product. Some even get extra cash rewards, as per the report.
Vendors that pay for fake reviews can also face penalties from Amazon itself for violating its terms of service. People reviewing products could face penalties, depending on their country of residence and whether law enforcement or regulators are interested in prosecution.
Amazon fake review scam: Loyalty schemes’
These included “packages” of fake reviews available for sellers to buy for about £15 individually, as well as bulk packages starting at £620 for 50 reviews and going up to £8,000 for 1,000.
The group also suggested that five of the businesses looked has more than 702,000 “product reviewers” on their books.
Product reviewers are offering small payments ranging from a few pounds to more than £10, alongside free or discounted products.
How to spot fake online reviews:
- Be skeptical. This is probably your best weapon, especially if there is an unusually high number of reviews of one product compare with others in that category.
- Read and read again. Look for the same language used in multiple reviews.
- Brands you don’t know. If you don’t recognize the brand, check to see if it has its own legitimate-looking website, with clear contact details.
- Be wary of products with lots of pictures or videos. Sellers can incentivize fake reviewers to encourage people to add photos and videos.
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