Category: Fake Review

How Scammers Steal Reviews on Amazon

Unscrupulous sellers find ways to get positive customer reviews from other products and integrate them into their own listings for products that may be new and hence have no reviews or be poor quality and hence not want genuine reviews.

Most customers these days will check on product reviews and if there are large numbers of positive reviews then that is a buy signal. We rely on these reviews being largely genuine – there will always a tiny number of fake or exaggerated ones but we trust that the majority are real reviews by real purchasers of the product.

Positive reviews will push a product higher in Amazon’s internal search engine and might trigger an Amazon’s Choice badge—this endorsement is given to highly rated, well-priced products available to ship immediately.

There’s a lot of money at stake as more than two million companies sell products on Amazon marketplace for more than $100 billion each year.

Amazon say they spend over $400 million per year protecting customers from fake reviews, abuse, fraud, and other forms of misconduct.

Merged Reviews

Amazon allow reviews for products that are basically the same thing but in a different size for example or perhaps just a different colour. This makes sense If you were selling a beanie hat in 10 different colours and 3 different sizes – each with its own listing. You would expect any reviews to apply to all sizes and colours.

However, scammers use the merge process to take positive reviews from one product and attach them to quite separate products by cheating the system.

e.g. Which magazine found In a posture correction brace with size variations that included a card printing machine and dish washing wands. The reviews came from one of the products but can be used to advertise all three.

If you find a product on Amazon with reviews that clearly that belong with a different product,  then Tweet @Amazon with a screenshot and use the hashtag #StopReviewHijacking

If you have any experiences with these scams do let me know, by email.

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Why So Many Fake Blog Comments?

Anyone with a blog or website will be used to ‘people’ posting random meaningless comments on the blog or website and probably wondered why this happens so much. What is the point?

First of all, where do the fake comments come from?

They are computer generated by software that takes a set of generic phrases and rearranges them and then tries to post the result on a long list of random blogs and websites.

So you end up with fake comments such as this one from recently.

message: We’re so happy having found the web blog, it’s really the thing my wife’s friends My friends from work are hoping in search of. The information here on the web page is always enlightening and will assist my business partners significantly intuitive information. Typically I’m not on the net when I’m busy and as my friends and I get a break.”

Sometimes the posts contain lots of links to websites that the sender will be paid for posting on the Internet and sometimes there are adverts for illegal websites, gambling sites etc.

Most blogs and many websites have a process where the owner has to authorise posts but on very busy sites this isn’t always possible and the sender hopes her post will get published automatically or by someone who cannot be bothered recognising it as rubbish.

Many blogs automatically publish posts from anyone whose first post was accepted. Then they can include more illegal and/or unpleasant adverts and links in their subsequent posts.

Make sure your blog or website is setup so you have to authorise each post and if you are unsure whether a post is genuine then quarantine it or delete it.

If you have any experiences with these scams do let me know, by email.

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Stupidest Spam of the Week Radio Station Email

Most scammers send out millions of their scam messages to random email addresses, that they have purchased from other scammers.

One scammer has decided to target radio stations with her latest malware.

The message says it is an open letter to the UN security council, which makes no sense.

Then it switches to a message ‘Hi Team,’ and has paragraphs of such general statements as to be essentially meaningless.

E.g. “I wanted to let you all know what a fantastic job you are doing”.

“You have been absolutely fantastic in turning things around”.

“I appreciate your hard work”.

“The job atmosphere has completely changed”.

“You have met all my requests”.

“You have transitioned into the routines seamlessly”.

Plus, the message has been sent to many hundreds of email addresses rather than to anyone specific.

The message contains a zip file named as playlist, but everyone knows it is stupid to open a zip file as the only people, outside of certain techies, who send zip files are scammers hoping to infect your computer with malware.

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