Category: Website Scam

Amazon Fake Reviews

Amazon is the biggest eCommerce operation the world has ever seen with sales of $178 billion in 2017.

One of Amazon’s biggest sales promoters is the use of customer reviews.

If you’re going to buy something on Amazon but want to know what other people think of the product or service then you check the customer reviews and almost always they are genuine.

Amazon spend a lot of time and money ferreting out fake reviews and stopping any businesses that use or promote fake reviews and they say that more than 99% of reviews on its sites are authentic.

That doesn’t stop criminals and idiots trying to find ways around the rules of course.

Recently, organisations have been using Facebook to advertise free Amazon products in return for reviews.

The customer buys the item and is promised a full refund once they have posted a stellar review on Amazon.

It is against Facebook rules for their users to promote fake reviews, but as we all know, Facebook have trouble actually policing content on their platform.

One such Facebook group is “Amazon free product deals between reviewer and seller [UK only]” which is a closed group and describes its purpose as:-

We help Amazon UK sellers to boost up rankings via getting reviews through our gradually building reliable members.

To become a member, you need to commit to review the product with 5* within 5 days of “order”. If this is not done, you would be banned and would miss out from brilliant discounts offered!

That’s clear – you need to give top rating reviews or you are banned from the group.

That’s not how people expect customer reviews to work.

Stop cheating – as we all lose out from that.

If you do check Amazon reviews – make sure to read several and don’t be taken in by the first one your read.

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Warning – Web Coin Mining on Your PC

For normal physical currencies, each country has an appointed currency maker – such as The Royal Mint in the UK that makes currency for the UK and several other counties. But with cyber currencies – who makes it and how?

The creation of new coins is called “mining” and involves large amounts of computer processing and this increases as more currency is created. For Bitcoin, the effort involved in making new currency means very few can manage it.

But, if you could somehow spread that computer processing demand out among thousands or even millions — of unknowing user’s computers, it would make mining a lot cheaper and possibly quicker.

This is exactly what some websites are doing. They use your CPU to mine cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin without your knowledge.

This can happen to you simply from visiting a website that uses JavaScript to start using your CPU for processing.

There are other methods but this is the most common and can be avoided if your browser has JavaScript disabled – but that will also block the functionality on some popular websites.

How to know if this has happened to your computer?

It’s not easy to identify unless your PC is suddenly very very slow and the CPU seems extremely busy while doing nothing.

Some websites can quietly use your CPU to mine cryptocurrency and they limit they effect on your work so you wouldn’t know unless you went out of your way to find out.

On a windows PC you can press CTRL, ALT and DELETE at the same time then select Task manager and see the CPU utilisation levels.

But if in doubt, the easiest remedy is to reboot your computer.

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Fake Website Gang Sentenced

Six people have been given jail sentences after defrauding the public out of more than £37m in one of the largest UK online crime cases brought to court.

The group set up and operated a number of “copycat websites”, which impersonated official government services to sell British passports, driving licences and other key documents at very high prices. The convictions and sentences followed one of the biggest investigations undertaken by the National Trading Standards eCrime Team.

Peter Hall, Claire Hall, Syed Bilal Zaidi, Collette Ferrow, Liam Hincks and Kerry Mill received sentences of varying lengths.

The criminals plan was to create copycat websites mimicking websites of government agencies that charge  for documents such as passports, car tax etc. and spend the time and money necessary to ensure their websites come top of Google searches for people looking at how to get or update their passport etc.

They used the company name Tadservices Limited between January 2011 and November 2014 and their fake websites mimicked those of 11 government agencies and departments.

Customers were conned into paying more than they needed for new or replacement passports, visas, birth and death certificates, driving licences, driving tests, car tax discs and the London congestion charge.

The criminals then expanded their operation to make copycat websites mimicking similar government websites of the American, Cambodian, Sri Lankan, Turkish and Vietnamese official visa sites where travellers could apply and pay for electronic visas.

The illegal profits funded a glamorous lifestyle for the defendants, with extravagant spending on expensive cars and luxury holidays.

“These convictions represent an important milestone in the fight against online fraud,” said Lord Harris, the chair of National Trading Standards. “This was a huge fraud and a very large number of people lost money as a result of the malicious actions of these criminals.”

Handing down sentence on Tuesday, Judge Sean Morris said: “The internet is now the most frequently used marketplace. It is full of busy people in a rush who don’t have time. There is a lot of money to be made by dishonest people out of the honest people who don’t have time to check that a site is an official government service.”

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The Clear Smart Fake TV Sales Scam

Clear-Smart advertise bargain price TVs on the Internet at clear-smart.co.uk

When you try to buy one – the card payment fails. Any card payment fails and they offer a further discount if you pay by bank transfer.

If you agree and pay – then your money is gone.

Meanwhile they fob you off with stories about the TV having been lost or damaged in transit or out of stock. They say anything to put you off for a while.

If you persist, then in time they turn nasty as they don’t like too many calls asking where the product is.

Then it’s obvious that it’s all just a scam – there are no TVs and having paid by bank transfer – the money is gone. Also, as they have your card details – your account may be at risk.

The moral is clear – always check carefully who you are buying from and NEVER pay by bank transfer or money payment agent as the money may be gone irretrievably

Clear Smart is a trading name for CS Online Retail Limited with registered owners – Charlotte Catherine Hicks and Nigel Peter Davis.

If you know anything about Clear Smart or CS Online Retail Limited then do let me know by email.