A recent data breach has exposed a widespread scam involving fake reviews on Amazon.

The fact has revealed that more than 200,000 people are involved in unethical activities in the online retails industry; they are providing fake reviews in exchange for free products. 

As the SafetyDetective cybersecurity team has discovered, Amazon vendors use a specific process to gain reviews on their product:

  • they sell to reviewers a list of products for which they want reviews
  • the reviewers buy all products and leave a review for each one
  • the products will be sent to the reviewers
  • the people who have made the reviews send the link of their profile to amazon vendors along with their PayPal details
  • once the Amazon vendors check that all reviews have been made, a refund is given to the reviewers, who can keep the products they bought

All these operations are realized through PayPal therefore they look legitimate, so that Amazon moderators don’t suspect.   

What are the consequences?

Vendors have not respected Amazon’s terms of service, therefore Amazon can pursue legal actions and will withhold earnings from products sold but only that earnings have not yet been collected. But not only vendors will face consequences, also reviewers will be punished with the deletion of their accounts.

 In addition vendors could face different types of punishments such as, the deactivation of their Amazon accounts and the loss of their privileges. Moreover the products involved can not receive reviews anymore and the name of the guilty vendors could be made public.

How to detect Amazon fake reviews

In order to not be misled from fake reviews during our purchase process it is necessary to follow some steps before proceeding with the purchase.

  1. Read as much full reviews as possible and beware from too long reviews. the majority of 5-star reviews are not longer than two sentences.
  2. Look for verified purchasers
  3. Look at the time of publication. If there are a lot of positive reviews published on the same day, probably they are fake. Looking for external reviews also help in detecting which ones are fake. This gives you a wider perspective.
  4. Look at the questions and answer section. It is much more reliable than reviews if you want to know the experience of other consumer with a certain product.

We propose you different ideas to generate positive opinions in the following blog article.

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