5-Star Phonies: Inside The Fake Amazon Review Complex

“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.”