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Amazon has been sending fake Ryzen CPUs to buyers

By midian182 · 29 replies
Jul 18, 2017
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  1. With its Ryzen processors, AMD is finally challenging Intel in the CPU space. But those rushing to buy the chips from Amazon could be in for a nasty surprise. At least two users who recently purchased Ryzen 1700s from the site received fakes. In both instances, the chips were Intel Celeron processors disguised to look like AMD’s products.

    Just over a week ago, Reddit user sh00ter999 posted pictures of what was supposed to be his new Ryzen 1700. Only it wasn’t. It was an LGA-based Intel processor with the markings scrubbed off and replaced with Ryzen markings that were part of a transparent sticker.

    Not only did this CPU come with the wrong (damaged) heatsink, its packaging looked as if it had been sealed with a lighter. There was also a lack of pins on the base, which, combined with the pinless AM4 socket, should mean the risk of motherboard damage is minimal unless someone uses excessive force.

    On July 15, a user called Yae_Ko became the victim of a similar scam. While the CPU SKU in this instance was different, the same unofficial Ryzen branding was used, suggesting the same people were responsible for both fakes.

    So, how did this happen when the CPUs came from a legitimate site like Amazon? It’s strongly suspected that the perpetrators are using RMA fraud: ordering the Ryzen 1700s for themselves, swapping the chips with doctored Celeron CPUs, resealing the packages, then returning them to the retailer. The similar size and weight, along with the stickers, appear to be fooling Amazon’s workers into thinking they’re the real products.

    Once the fake chips are back in circulation, anyone buying a Ryzen 1700 (or whatever other models are affected) risks receiving a dud.

    It seems that Amazon has been quick to send out replacements via overnight express delivery, and even included a gift card for the users' troubles. The company will presumably do the same for anyone else who falls victim to this fraud. But exactly how many of these fakes are floating around Amazon’s inventory is a mystery.

    Permalink to story.

  2. BSim500

    BSim500 TS Evangelist Posts: 586   +1,155

    Don't Amazon have a tech dept that checks returns of higher-value items? I mean even without removing the CPU from the package:-

    1. If the package is "sealed" but looks like it's been half melted with a cigarette lighter / glue gun, that's the first obvious red flag.

    2. Don't Ryzen's have pins on the CPU, whilst Intel's have pins on the motherboard? I'm pretty sure you can see that obvious difference through the transparent package.

    3. Don't they track / scan serial numbers before shipping and keep a record? If so, that's pretty easy to see who ordered then "returned" it before...
    killmess and Reehahs like this.
  3. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 2,111   +1,532

    Great... another jerk wad taking advantage of the system and screwing everyone else over...
    rpjkw11 and qking like this.
  4. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,010   +3,422

    Not surprising ... Amazon has a ZERO quality control process and will sell ANYTHING they can get a good price for as well as ignore complaints. I am not impressed like I used to be, at least with Walmart you can go and physically make your complaints known ....
    rpjkw11, qking and wiyosaya like this.
  5. dirtyferret

    dirtyferret TS Evangelist Posts: 495   +519

    I haven't read the entire reddit posts but they are most likely buying open box items. I purchase a lot of open box tech items on amazon (returns are free for amazon prime members) and I have been shipped incorrect routers, mice, motherboards, etc., etc., All came in the correct package, correct brand, but were a cheaper model (e.g. receive a box for an Asus AC 1900 router to find an Asus N600 router).
    rpjkw11, wiyosaya and Reehahs like this.
  6. Kenrick

    Kenrick TS Evangelist Posts: 630   +403

    Hoho celeron!

    Amazon is a marketplace. Im interested which seller they bought it from. Was it a 3rd party seller? I only buy items sold by amazon or fulfilled by amazon.
  7. dirtyferret

    dirtyferret TS Evangelist Posts: 495   +519

    Our company sells on amazon through amazon. It's not that hard to place fraudulent products on amazon through FBA (fulfillment by amazon) in fact at times their marketplace feels over-run with chinese knock offs and while they do a decent job of taking them off the site they do take their time.

    As for controlling your inventory, they will use someone else inventory to fulfill your order if the storage location is closer to you the buyer. They simply then move over one unit from your inventory to the other merchants.

    Your best bet is often to look for "sold and fulfilled by amazon" Amazon owns the inventory and sells it or look for a major brand like "sold by Samsung fulfilled by Amazon". The brand refills the inventory in Amazon's warehouse themselves.
    rpjkw11 and SantistaUSA like this.
  8. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,546   +1,917

    I know Intel now has its back against the wall with AMD's newfound competitive spirit, but with them shipping Celerons in place of Ryzen CPUs, is this not going a bit too far, Intel? ;)
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2017
  9. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,546   +1,917

    And to top it off, Amazon will deny they have any problems.
  10. EClyde

    EClyde TS Evangelist Posts: 1,719   +613

    Just shows what a liberal like Bezo's is really all about. He colluded with the Chinese. I am demanding a special prosecutor
    stevae likes this.
  11. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 3,267   +1,719

    Not just AMD CPUs. The same is happening with the more expensive Intel CPUs too.
  12. thedrelle

    thedrelle TS Enthusiast Posts: 64   +12

    Which is why they shipped overnight replacements and even gave the victims gift cards, that totally sounds like ignoring complaints and denying problems. Did you even read the article?
    mbrowne5061 and Kenrick like this.
  13. SantistaUSA

    SantistaUSA TS Addict Posts: 106   +27

    I'm not surprised. I work retail and am one of the managers in customer service, sometimes I help my counter staff inspect items and I'm pretty good at catching customers trying to fraud us. Last one was a "good customer" that had spent $16k with us with no returns, no adj or courtesy letters, so everything he bought he kept but last month he bought a $380 receiver and decided to return it a week later stating that he didn't want/need it. I looked into it and the model inside of the box was completely different (same brand tho), I looked up his account history and found that the receiver he was trying to return was purchased 7 YEARS ago!!! I've contacted our LP dept and managed to get him arrested.

    I've got customers that has spent over $50k with us, trying to do the same type of thing, but if they try when I'm working I won't let it pass :D
    rpjkw11 and wiyosaya like this.
  14. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,399   +431

    Amazon sending fakes is actually old news, but I had no idea it extended to cpus.
  15. Spence1115

    Spence1115 TS Enthusiast Posts: 54   +43


    1. They don't check properly.
    2. The people they employ have no idea about this stuff and won't be trained on it - with the quantity of stuff Amazon sells they'd have to train them on so much stuff.
    3. You'd hope so, but honestly I wouldn't be surprised if they don't.

    Amazon sells at such high volumes its cheaper to write off the cost of these instances and give credit away to compensate. It's cheaper for them than putting the time and money into a more technical returns department.
    SantistaUSA and BSim500 like this.
  16. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,546   +1,917

    Quickly, now! Call Jeff Sessions - he will love that tack!
  17. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,546   +1,917

    SantistaUSA likes this.
  18. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,010   +3,422

    I have experienced it first hand .... and if you return one too many things, they cancel your account and make you re-register ...
    wiyosaya likes this.
  19. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,546   +1,917

    There are people out there that do not realize what Amazon is really like. Dancing around the issue with credit, etc., is not fixing the problem, nor is it even acknowledging that it even exists. It is CYA tactics from Amazon while the practice will undoubtedly continue until Amazon realizes that the problem is that some scammer(s) is(are) presently doing something they Amazon is not set up to handle and goes after the scammer(s).

    These replies about Amazon not caring or wanting to hire a crew to handle returns are interesting, too. Amazon, Bezos in particular, has $$$ coming out every orifice and can certainly afford to hire a crew to properly check returns. Yet Amazon does not and it is costing them in terms of reputation. For me, that reputation is already near the level of something that flies land on. It is also costing them money, too.
  20. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,899   +690

    Well on the bright side at least these CPU will overclock worth a damn.
  21. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,208   +4,876

    What do you know, these Celeron CPU's are good for something after all.
    SantistaUSA likes this.
  22. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,593   +3,760

    Whoa, not so fast. An Intel CPU is in a transparent sheath, true. But, unless you have X-ray vision, you can't see the back of at, as it faces inward. You have to break the seal to see the back of the CPU.

    I always though AMD had a very slight of a goldish, bronzish tint to the lid. But then I don't care, and I don't own one, so I could be wrong.

    I searched my account at Newegg and couldn't find serial numbers on any invoices.
  23. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,593   +3,760

    Have I got a laptop for you! (y)
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  24. Emexrulsier

    Emexrulsier TS Evangelist Posts: 593   +76

    This doesn't protect you either, just means a seller is using Amazon Warehouses to sell and distribute items you can still got dodgy chinese companies selling fakes and advertised as "fulfilled by Amazon". The advantage though is the great return system. When ever I have had an issue with an Amazon order they send out a prepaid shipping label and collect the item within 24 hours. Sure I have to wait for them to receive it before they ship a new one out (the odd time they do actually ship one out as soon as they confirm collection) but its a lot less hassle than having to deal with other companies.
  25. Kenrick

    Kenrick TS Evangelist Posts: 630   +403

    I agree. If amazon is out of stock, I usually go to a seller that is fulfilled by amazon. The chance of having a fake is smaller compared to other 3rd party and newly launched sellers. I usually check the feedback if its fulfilled - not the 5 stars but I read the 4 and 3 stars to lessen the chance of paid review. You are right of the great return system . Really one of the best out there. They usually give me credits.

    Again I hope they quote who is the seller was, was it a 3rd party, a fulfilled 3rd party, or directly came from amazon.com.

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