Beware: Amazon iPhone 6s Scam Targets Sellers, Not Buyers

Usually, it’s the dealer doing the magic tricks. Now, these iPhone 6s sellers are getting scammed on Amazon by fraudulent reviews.

Gone are the days when the seller tricks the buyer into buying items that do not live up to their claims and standards. In this modern day of trickery and scamming, it’s now the buyers getting the upper hand as they attack innocent Amazon iPhone 6s sellers.

This change of power has become possible thanks to the power of feedback, or what we may usually call reviews. If you’re familiar with Amazon or eBay trading, sellers and buyers both try to establish their credibility and legitimacy by acknowledging purchases and leaving reviews after successful transactions.

Imagine yourself wanting to purchase an iPhone 6s but would prefer to get it cheaper so you run to Amazon, hoping you’d stumble into a kind soul getting rid of his or her iPhone 6s for whatever reason. By good luck, you run into a great deal: an unlocked 128GB Apple iPhone 6s, with its packaging still good and intact. You rush to click the Buy button to get your iPhone 6s, but you’re horrified when you find in the reviews that some buyers received their iPhone 6s boxes containing nothing but clay!

This is the kind of scenario that has been coming to recent light on iPhone 6s sellers on Amazon. Noticed by Domo software engineer Cory Klein are sellers on Amazon who have an overall good star rating but would receive a bunch of 1-star reviews, saying the buyers received iPhone 6s boxes filled with clay instead of their original iPhone 6s purchases.

On the surface, it looks like the iPhone 6s seller might be doing some hocus pocus every now and then to get good money. However, Klein notes, and we are very much aware, how Amazon has very strong buyer protection policies. As a bogus iPhone 6s seller, you might be able to walk away from one scam. But a number of bad reviews such as those will get you terminated from Amazon.

Klein figured out that it’s not the seller that’s actually doing the scamming. In reality, it’s the buyers scamming the sellers, thanks to Amazon’s buyer protection policies. Klein explains.

  1. Scammer creates a new Amazon account.
  2. Scammer purchases an iPhone using a legitimate payment method.
  3. Seller ships the iPhone with tracking. UPS/FedEx records the weight of the package.
  4. Scammer receives the package, swaps the iPhone for clay, and pockets the device.
  5. Scammer posts a review with pictures showing evidence that no iPhone was shipped, and opens a A-Z Guarantee claim against the seller.
  6. If the seller was relying on the UPS/FedEx weight record to verify shipment (which most do) and has no other proof that they actually shipped the iPhone, then Amazon may resolve the case in favor of the scammer, refunding their purchase and allowing them to keep the (now stolen) iPhone.

Because of Amazon’s A-Z Guarantee, buyers who report of receiving the supposedly fraudulent items now are able to get their money back, while the sellers get a bad reputation. In addition, the offending review is permanently placed on their iPhone 6s advertisement, scaring off potential and legitimate buyers.

Real iPhone 6s listing on Amazon receiving random 1 stars despite the good credibility standing
Real 1-star reviews of buyers allegedly receiving clay instead of iPhone 6s

On the part of the scamming buyers, it is possible that they could not win the A-Z Guarantee case that they report all the time. However, it doesn’t even matter because they can just resell their stolen iPhone 6s somewhere with no problem if their case gets put down. If they win one out of five, they can resell the other four iPhone 6 s units and pocket a good $1,000. What a cheap trick!

As times change, so do the scammers and thieves. Those selling unlocked iPhone 6s units are the usual targets of these scams because these units fetch a good price if the case goes through Amazon well, and they are just as easy, too, to resell if the case fails.

User Duaa A apparently reviewed two iPhone 6s units that both had clay inside (same photos, different products)
Always be on the lookout since these cheap iPhone 6s tricks are still widespread on Amazon. The Express has approached Amazon for comment on the iPhone 6s scam, but Amazon has yet to release their statement.

[Photo by George Frey/Getty Images]