What you need to know
- SafetyDetectives revealed a data breach affecting more than 13 million users.
- The breach affected many users who had been providing fake reviews for Amazon vendors and others.
- Amazon has responded by removing products from brands that have been participating.
The war on fake Amazon product reviews is underway. A security report from SafetyDetectives (via Digital Trends) kicked things off by revealing that "more than 13 million records, equating to 7GB of data, were exposed" on a server. The report goes onto state that the majority of people's data revealed that fake reviews were being provided, including reviews for "Amazon vendors."
Despite this, it would appear that these two companies are also at the top of the list when it comes to this fake Amazon review scheme that has been uncovered. If you were to search for Mpow headphones or AUKEY chargers, you wouldn't really find too much. You could go to the Amazon seller pages, but many of the listings are either unavailable or removed completely.
The way that these review schemes work is that a company representative will reach out for review, or a card will be included in the box of the product. After receiving the product, you are asked to post a review on Amazon with the implication of leaving a five-star review. Some ask for a five-star review explicitly, but others just imply it. In return, the company will provide compensation after the review has been published to Amazon.
This isn't exactly unheard of, as we've seen instances ourselves over the years. However, the data leak revealed that this is not just a blip on the radar. Amazon also has explicit rules against posting fake or paid-for reviews, but it seems that these companies discovered a massive workaround.
After publishing its piece about Amazon's fake review issues, ReviewGeek received a response from Amazon:
We work hard to build a great experience for our customers and sellers and take action to protect them from those that threaten their experience in our store. We have systems and processes to detect suspicious behavior and we have teams that investigate and take action quickly.
We have long-standing policies to protect the integrity of our store, including product authenticity, genuine reviews, and products meeting the expectations of our customers. We take swift action against those that violate them, including suspending or removing selling privileges. We take this responsibility seriously, monitor our decision accuracy and maintain a high bar.
Amazon states that it has an appeals process available to companies if they believe they can agree to comply with store policies in the future.
Android Central has reached out to AUKEY about the matter but did not immediately receive a response.