Since Saturday, the products of some major technology retailers have disappeared on Amazon sites in various countries, including Italy. Among them is the brand that sells mainly headphones, chargers, cables and portable batteries, known as great value for money. Per user Who asked on Twitter At the end of Aki’s products, Amazon’s support responds with a phrase that appears automatically, sending it back To the company page, However not all products are available.
Suspending sellers is suspected to be related to the discovery of a major fraud in terms of buying and selling reviews Released last week By some of the security experts of the security site. To Mail, Amazon did not say anything about the reason for this action, which was only shared with the relevant sellers.
Click here to see all available products: https://t.co/gH35p7DlDT. -Giovani
– Amazon Help (mAmazonHelp) May 8, 2021
Fraud reviews are nothing new to Amazon, which over the years has been increasingly trying to curb them by introducing and preventing stricter rules or Case If you find relevant users and vendors. Whenever this type of fraud appears, in fact, it can erode the confidence of customers, who often rely on reviews to choose what to buy. However, identifying these scams was not always easy, and the invention of security inventions took place in a very strange way.
SafetyDetectives is a non-profit organization that deals with research and dissemination in the field of information security. On March 1, the team of experts discovered a server online with an insecure database – accessible without a password – containing millions of private messages from approximately 200,000 users. After five days the server became inaccessible.
SafetyDetectives analyzed the database and discovered a review trading system that already uses a widespread technique. Sellers post ads with the products they want to review, and interested users buy them on Amazon, leaving a five-star review and then sending the review link to the sellers. Once the review has been verified, vendors may reimburse the user for the amount spent and keep the product as a form of compensation. Of course, compensation is made through PayPal, but not through Amazon’s payment service, to arouse suspicion.
The server invented by SafetyDetectives is located in China, but it is not clear who owns it: it’s supposed to belong to a service created specifically to hunt down users who want to sell reviews (using social networks such as Facebook and Chinese Wechat) to contact vendors. Messages downloaded from the server include email addresses, PayPal addresses, WhatsApp and telegram numbers, and more that can be used to identify individuals.
Security Detectives explained how the news between sellers and buyers clearly reveals certain procedures to ensure that the reviews are reliable and to avoid being discovered by Amazon. For example, sellers ask users to wait a few days to write a review and create a specific length that represents specific details. These precautions are taken to escape the restrictions of the Amazon Some online services, Such as FoxPot and ReviewMetta, were created specifically for analyzing reviews and identifying unreliable ones.
It is not known if Amazon held the personal data in the database (which was not released by Security Detectives), but it is doubtful that this is due to the suspension of accounts such as Aggie, TomTop, Doc Life and other brands. Technology site On the edge He wrote Aki and Embov did not respond to requests for comment on the incident. It was already expected in the Security Detectives article that Amazon could remove all reviews of products already involved in the scam, remove them from the site, suspend seller accounts and freeze outstanding payments. In addition, in countries where the law considers buying and selling reviews a crime that harms consumer rights, Amazon may decide to take legal action.
Even for individual “reviewer” users, the consequences can vary: those who leave thousands of reviews will have to pay a fine, while those who can prove they have been deceived will rarely escape. They are being prosecuted.
In fact, SafetyDetectives does not exclude the fact that many users of fraud are unaware of what they are doing. Vendors use very professional language and will never warn users that review trading is illegal. These communications can easily confuse users as there are also online sites that allow people who want to get free products at home – legally – in exchange for reviews about Amazon or other e-commerce. They are called systems Try, Which can be translated as “testing and advertising”, or Word of mouth marketing, I.e. word of mouth marketing. The difference from illegal reviews in paid reviews is that in these cases there is no cash transfer and users are not obliged to write positive reviews.
– read more: Recipients of free products from Amazon