Ever read glowing reviews on Amazon and wonder if they are real? As by far the world’s leading online retailer, Amazon deals with a wide variety issues. From counterfeit products offered by third-party sellers. To the posting of fake reviews. With this in mind, we now look at the prevalence of fake reviews on Amazon.
Before reading below, check out these relevant articles:
- Are Online Reviews Real Or Fake
- Getting Great Online Customer Reviews
- Do Shoppers Really Believe Customer Reviews?
Scams Aplenty: The Prevalence of Fake Reviews on Amazon
Despite Amazon’s best efforts, fraudulent practices by third parties exist. Due its enormous sales volume, Amazon is a key target of scammers. For example, consider one practice — the posting of fake customer reviews.
The cybersecurity team at SafetyDetectives, uncovered a database leak that exposed more than 200,000 people in a scam where Amazon vendors exchanged free products for fake reviews. The issue of fake product reviews, where sellers seek to gain an edge over competitors by boosting their rankings, is a persistent one that that Amazon battles. SafetyDetectives said the open ElasticSearch server contained more than 134 million messages between Amazon vendors and customers willing to provide fake reviews in exchange for free products. The leak was discovered on March 1, 2021/ And monitored until the server, believed residing in China and not associated with participants in the scam, was secured on March 6.
As observed by SafetyDetectives, the scam worked by having 3P sellers send potential reviewers a list of products for which they sought five-star reviews. The reviewers then bought the products and posted reviews. Reviews were verified by the seller, who got sent a link to the reviewer’s Amazon profile. Then shoppers were reimbursed for the purchase through PayPal, not through the Amazon platform. [Note: “Processing payment through PayPal makes the five-star review look legitimate, so as not to arouse suspicion from Amazon moderators,” SafetyDetectives noted in a blog post.
The 13 million-plus records, more than 7GB of data, were exposed when the server “was left open without any password protection or encryption,” the group said. This included personal data of both the sellers and the reviewers, such as Email addresses, WhatsApp, and Telegram phone numbers
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