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Scammers elude Amazon crackdown on fake reviews with new tricks

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by BassTrackerBoats, May 20, 2017.

  1. BassTrackerBoats

    BassTrackerBoats Super Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

    Mar 10, 2010
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    Amazon spent the past couple of years cracking down on fake product reviews, but enterprising tricksters are exploiting a fresh loophole on its site.

    Many of the same vendors who sold fake positive reviews on Amazon for $5 a pop are now selling so called “list optimization” or “list maintenance” services, in which they enlist hundreds of people to vote a product review as helpful so that it moves up to the top of a product’s page.

    But the votes can also be used to sabotage a competitor, voting up negative reviews of rival products and tanking demand for goods that previously had been well-received, sources told The Post.

    “This is an evolution of an existing problem,” said Nii Ahene, co-founder of CPC Strategy, a San Diego-based online consulting firm. “Sellers are negatively influencing their competitors, but at the end of the day it’s a policing problem that Amazon has to address.”

    Amazon says its technology can detect this scam.

    “We have machine-learned processes to detect inauthentic customer insights including the manipulation of helpful votes and will ban vendors, sellers and reviewers who are found to be out of compliance with our policies,” Amazon told The Post in an e-mailed statement.

    Nevertheless, vendors for vote manipulation aren’t hard to find.

    Vendors find clients by spamming Amazon merchants. One of them contacted The Post through an e-mail account, [email protected], promising “good and quality english reviews with photo and sometimes with videos,” charging $10 per verified review and $9 per unverified review (meaning the reviewer did not purchase the product).

    In response to questions from The Post, the vendor insisted that its reviews are “honest. nothing else.”

    In addition to shoppers being deceived, some merchants say they’ve been victimized by purveyors of review manipulation tools.

    “I think I have a competitor who is up voting my bad reviews” a seller with the user name Ly Yu recently posted on a Amazon seller’s forum on Facebook, asking others whether they’d had a similar experience.

    “[H]as anyone successfully dealt with this issue?” another asked.

    The scenarios can get nastier still, according to one merchant who markets skin-care products on Amazon. Asking not be identified for fear of retribution from these vendors, the merchant said his product was a best-seller on Amazon in mid-April, when shoppers were scooping up 450 units a day.

    Earlier this month, however, he noticed that all of the negative reviews — about eight of them — were on the top of his page, though the vast majority of his reviews were positive.

    The merchant reached out to a “list optimization” vendor who’d previously sent him an e-mail advertising its services. The vendor, whose company the merchant declined to identify, offered to “clean up” his problem for $350 or to provide “listing maintenance” for $1,000 a month.

    The skin-care merchant declined the services. The next morning the number of negative votes climbed to 160. On the following day it was 260.

    The vendor called him back and suggested that one of the merchant’s competitors — whose positive review votes had, maybe not coincidentally, risen by a lot — was responsible for the negative votes.

    The vendor reiterated his offer, upping the cost to $2,000 because the problem had grown exponentially. The vendor also offered to “screw the competitor’s site” according to the merchant.

    “That’s when I knew he’d pump up a site or bring it down,” the merchant told The Post.

    He complained to Amazon, but to no avail, with Amazon reps promising to look into the problem. Meanwhile, his sales have plummeted to 150 units a day.

    Source: http://nypost.com/2017/05/19/scammers-elude-amazon-crackdown-on-fake-reviews-with-new-tricks/

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  2. Zoomer3690

    Zoomer3690 Regular Member

    Jun 20, 2013
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    Looks like a never-ending war.
  3. jazzc

    jazzc Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

    Jan 27, 2009
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    The last paragraphs are a great ad for these services :D
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  4. W9go

    W9go Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    May 16, 2011
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    chasing girls
    chasing girls
    neg seo is everywhere ..... and its really crap.
  5. elavmunretea

    elavmunretea Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    May 14, 2016
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    I used to boost my reviewer account a tonnnn when I was into reviewing.

    Just get a few friends around my area to interact authentically with the listing and then say my review was helpful.

    Got a few thousand "thanks" this way.
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