5-star phonies: Inside the fake Amazon review complex

thehustle.co

This is a mind-blowing story. Zachary Crockett spent two weeks in the underbelly of Amazon's fake review economy — and emerged questioning our collective trust in the stars.

“Isn’t this illegal?” I found myself typing one Tuesday night at 1:15 AM. I was chatting with Lien Xi, an Amazon seller from Guangzhou, China, I’d met several minutes before in a private Facebook group. She’d courted me with an offer: If I gave her phone charger a 5-star review, she would refund the purchase via PayPal and send me a $10 “commission.” “No,” she responded, with a smiley face emoji. “You will love.”

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