Amazon Scam Breakdown : The Bait And Switch for False Reviews
I was doing some window shopping this morning while waiting for some code to build on my computer and a item that Amazon recommended to me quickly caught my eye. It is clearly a fake 2 TB USB Flash Drive which is unremarkable as I have seen countless fakes and even wrote about it back in 2018, the thing that caught my eye on the listing is that the flash drive had over 360 reviews with a 4.5 star average review. How could this be??? Is there actually a legitimate way to get 2 TB of real flash storage for under $100 or is there something fishy going on? Oh yes, its definitely rotten fish. I stumbled into a bit of a rabbit hole this morning while doing some research on how this scam works.
There are websites that you can pay dishonest people to publish a glowing review for a free product and a few bucks, many of these “reviewers” don’t even take the package out of the shipping box before publishing their review. Positive reviews are big business and a few positive reviews are all it takes to get unsuspecting victims to fall for the scam. This is incredibly devious in the case of flash storage as the victim may not find out this was a scam for months, after losing all of the precious files they saved into the fake storage device. The problem with these fake review farms is that it can get pricey so many scam artists only pay for 5-10 fake reviews which is enough to start hooking victims.
This specific listing had over 360 reviews which is unheard of when seeing these scams and it is simply not economical to pay for 350 + positive reviews so there has to be another way and the mystery was solved as soon as I started looking at the FAQs and reviews. I included a complete screenshot of the reviews
This product listing was actually for a “fortune teller crystal ball” but apparently Amazon allows sellers to change the Product Listing, Category, Product Images and product description while at the same time allows them to keep all existing reviews for the product. Unlike many of the other sellers I mentioned in my 2018 rant who may have been drop-shipment sellers who were sold fake products by a manufacturer and were unknowingly scamming customers, I can honestly say that the seller in this case, “SCORDERS” is without question knowingly scamming customers as changing the product listing is not something that can be done by mistake. Sellers who are knowingly scamming customers like this MUST be removed the platform for good. This specific seller’s storefront is full of dozens of other flash drives, some appear to be legitimate bit others appear to also be similar scams, it appears they are also planning to pull the same stunt on this listing for a Apple Airport Extreme card once the number of bad reviews for the flash drive start to start to outshine the number of good reviews for the crystal ball. I am sure this is a great crystal ball but you don’t need to me a psychic to see that this is not a 2TB flash drive.
I find it troubling that Amazon allows sellers to intentionally manipulate the system like this to intentionally scam customers like this. Amazon should not allow sellers to change certain details after a product has been listed, I can understand the ability to perform slight modifications to the description for some electronic products to include new features added via a firmware update but that’s about it. Major modifications should only be done manually by a Amazon account manager upon request and only after carefully reviewing to ensure it is the same product.
I have already reported this to Amazon's customer service and will be keeping my eye out for more