A continued investigation into Ebanel Laboratories fraudulent reviews on the Amazon Marketplace.
Year by year the Amazon Marketplace grows and flourishes, creating bigger opportunities and increased competition. How is a new company to compete in oversaturated markets against heavy competition, especially competition that produces better products? Well our friends at Ebanel Laboratories sure have it figured out!
How has Ebanel laboratories, a company that has not been on Amazon for very long, reached such astonishing results on Amazon? It’s a simple method, easy to replicate, and it seems to be working well for them – they cheat.
As we have reported in previous articles, Ebanel laboratories has “found” great success in launching new products. Utilizing massive review farms they posted at least five falsified reviews and daily until they were caught. Once our last article hit the news circles, Ebanel went to a more concealed modus operandi, but that also might have something to do with the fact that Amazon and the FBI were contacted regarding those fake reviews.
Alas, the scrutiny of law enforcement and Amazon has not been enough to dissuade Ebanel from looking for new ways to cheat the system. They stopped adding fake public reviews to avoid suspicion, Ebanel has found several fun new ways to launch a new product, and still score 5-star unearned excellent reviews. But before we get to that, for our readers who may not be up to date with our investigation of Ebanel, here is a copy of our previous article, as well as a copy of the complaint we filed with Amazon about Ebanel’s behavior:
We collected evidence that implicated Ebanel in the falsification of as many as 70% of their reviews published in the month of April.
Evidence of additional fake reviews on Ebanel product: Numb25 Lidocaine 5% Topical Numbing Cream…
Ebanel has continued to add additional fake reviews, and even has a new product with almost 100% 5-star reviews, most of which are made by a review farm. They are aggressively marketing this particular product through sponsored ads on Amazon with this almost perfect score to lure in customers in a predatory fashion. It’s not enough that Ebanel has been caught before– not once, not twice but four times in fact. Yet, they continue to run the same scam with only minor adjustments to improve their ability to avoid Amazons detection software.
Ebanel Fake Review – Consumer fraud Scam #1
The following reviewer names that were in the above complaint have now also been added to an additional product made by Ebanel.
Amazon confirmed our complaint which included the eight names above, and claimed they will take “appropriate actions.”
Below is a new list of fake reviews, promoting their newly marketed product:
Elliott Cleveland – Of five reviews, two on fake, related companies – WEWGO 608-2RS Ball Bearings – ZasLuke VGA to HDMI Output 1080P Adapter (both products are known to be targets of a large fake review farm).
Clarissa Clay – Four reviews are public. She gave a 5-star review on 2 fake related companies: EMISH Mobile Game Controller for PUBG – ZasLuke VGA to HDMI Output 1080P Adapter.
Jarvis Esmond – Six reviews. He gave 5-star reviews, two we know were fake – WEWGO 608-2RS Ball Bearings – Casmonal Womens Leather Card Case Holder.
Wynne Barrera – Out of seven reviews, three known fake reviews – Travelambo Large Capacity Credit Card Wallet – Casmonal Money Clip Slim Minimalist – Travelambo RFID Leather Trifold Wallets.
Phoebe Hines – Reviewed Seat Belt Adjuster Positioned Clips – NapaWalli Genuine Leather Cash Coin- the seat belt adjuster has a massive fake review connection with WEWGO 608-2RS Ball Bearings.
Bass Blanche – Provided many related fake reviews – Travelambo Large Capacity Credit Card Wallet – Casmonal Womens Leather Card Case Holder – EMISH Mobile Game Controller for PUBG -B-Mardi Locking Carabiner Clips – LED Strip Lights, Usieka 300 LEDs 33ft SMD5050 – 2nd time EMISH Mobile Game Controller for PUBG – 2 Casmonal Money Clip – ZasLuke VGA to HDMI Output 1080P Adapter.
Dillard Pandora – Two public reviews – One being Casmonal Money Clip Slim Minimalist.
Kim Fergus – Provided four fake reviews – Travelambo Large Capacity Credit Card Wallet – 2nd tie Travelambo RFID Leather Trifold Wallets – Casmonal Money Clip Slim Minimalist -EMISH Mobile Game Controller for PUBG.
Burris Rita – Reviewed – WEWGO 608-2RS Ball Bearings – B-Mardi Locking Carabiner Clips.
Ruth Nelson – Had four known fake reviews – B-Mardi Locking Carabiner Clips – Casmonal Money Clip Slim Minimalist – Travelambo Large Capacity Credit Card Wallet – 2nd Casmonal Money Clip Slim Minimalist.
Molina Atwater – Had three known fake reviews – Travelambo RFID Leather Trifold Wallets – EMISH Mobile Game Controller for PUBG – Casmonal Womens Leather Card Case Holder.
Mathews Haley – Reviews that were knowingly fake – ZasLuke VGA to HDMI Output 1080P Adapter.
Richard Alfred – Out of two reviews we know this was fake – Casmonal Money Clip Slim Minimalist.
Plus, Richard M. in particular wrote over 70 reviews in one day. No one does 70 reviews in a single day!
When researching reviews you might on occasion see two people who reviewed the same two products. When you see dozens, and even hundreds of people all reviewing the same small set of items, you can be assured that those reviewers work for a review farm that is coordinating their efforts and making money selling those reviews.
Because of these fake reviews on this particular product Ebanel has as close to a perfect score as we have ever seen, and the consumer has no idea that it’s built on paid lies and manipulation. Our evidence indicates that 21 of the 31 reviews (over 66%) we verified above were fake. This is extremely close to our first analysis which was over 70% fake reviews. It is likely even much higher than that, but not all fake reviewers are as easy to verify.
Andrew Smith, the FTC’s director of consumer protection said “When a company buys fake reviews to inflate its Amazon ratings, it hurts both shoppers and companies that play by the rules.” This public announcement was coordinated with the FTC filing charges against a company that paid a third-party website to write 5-star reviews on Amazon
Link: Ebanel Spray
Ebanels Numbing Spray Switcheroo Scam #2
Just this week we identified another new scam that Ebanel is trying to pull on the unwary consumer. It starts with the launch of their new product, Numb 520 Spray.
When we first saw the product pop up this last week, we immediately questioned how a brand new product already had 26 reviews on it. It hadn’t even been out long enough to get product to the consumer’s home, much less have them review it and post something up on the internet. So we dug a little deeper.
The first thing we noticed when we pulled up the product, is that it was a variation product. Amazon is pretty good about not letting consumers write reviews on products until they have actually received the product. So what do you do when you want to portray a product as having a bunch of good reviews before its even capable of getting any reviews? You make it a variation of a product you already carry!
Ebanel falsely linked this product with another product that it manufactures (shown on left), a 5-pack numbing cream gel that already had questionable fake reviews. This gave it the immediate appearance of having good reviews even though the spray hadn’t been around long enough to get ANY reviews. It’s an easy scam to run and once they had a chance to add some fake reviews to this product, it’s a simple matter to say “Oops we made a mistake, let’s make this its own product…it was an accident…we promise!”
Link Ebanel 5 pack Cream
By constantly not playing by the rules, Ebanel puts Amazon and all of its honest sellers at risk! Because the reviews are “verified purchases” for the cream gel and not the spray, it is actually fraud, and illegal (not that they were honest reviews to begin with). The spray has a significantly different chemical and liquid vs solid makeup, plus the delivery method for one is manual application directly to the skin vs spray pump at a distance to the skin. Not to mention the required child safety difference between spray and cream gel. They are so differences in so many ways that it would be impossible to claim they are the same product, just of a different size, which is known as a “variant.”
Ebanel knows this and is unsurprisingly breaking Amazons rules, not to mention the law, but what else is new right? Every vendor would love to find an advantage in launching a new product with high reviews, but no one does it this way as it is considered unethical and not only puts the seller and Amazon at risk of lawsuit but could subject you to criminal charges as well!
With so many prior complaints against Ebanel, no one will believe it’s a mistake. ” The FTC claims that Third parties – such as advertising agencies or website designers…may be liable for making or disseminating deceptive representations if they…know about the deceptive claims.” We have been told that once Walmart learned of Ebanel scams, and understood that they were conducting consumer fraud, WALMART ended any business with Ebanel (Walmart didn’t want to be tied to any potential legal nightmare).
How do the review farms keep people from catching on? Hide the Review – Ebanel Scam #3
Notice anything odd about the screenshots above? That’s right, despite having 764, and 276 reviews respectively, not a single one of those reviews shows up. How and why would someone block their reviews (in this cases above they are already anonymous) from being seen by the public? Well, the how is still a mystery. We haven’t been able to figure it out yet.
The why is very clear. If you work for a review farm and you are reviewing the same 40 products as 100 other reviewers in your farm, you wouldn’t want anyone to notice right? Well, just block your reviews from being seen and that will solve that issue. Its a feature that we didn’t even know existed. A company Amazon specialist we spoke to didn’t know this feature existed either. If the professionals in the Amazon field haven’t heard of it, or know how it works, how do hundreds of “brand new” reviewers create these stealth accounts?
Once Ebanel was caught cheating months ago, the fake farm reviews shifted more to stealth reviews, like these above, that were completely hidden. It happened right after we posted the article revealing their tactics and now the majority of their fake reviews we believe are coming through this special stealth mode.
This scam makes proving future fake reviews very difficult and Ebanel has used this tool significantly. Outside of Ebanel there are very few anonymous untraceable reviews. So they decreased their public traceable fake reviews but increased their fake stealth reviews. If you include even half of their stealth reviews, this would greatly exceed our first estimate that only 70% of their numbing product reviews are fake.
How the public is hurt the most, is we tested their products, side by side with their competitors, and the results ranged from average to very poor. Ebanel products are filled with a lot of cheap filler crap and pumped out the door with falsified reviews.
How Many Fake Reviews is too Many? Amazon Says the Answer is One is too Many.
When you add the fact that Amazon confirms that they know Ebanel is providing fake reviews, then they have both a legal and ethical duty to not abet a known massive and serial perpetrator of fraud. No one has challenge our findings, but several have confirmed (including Amazon) after we made the insertion that over 70% of total reviews in our Ebanel Case Study were fake. As of today, all the Ebanel fake reviews are still being shown to public on the Amazon website.
This is all occurring after a Amazon spokesman claimed “even one inauthentic review is one too many” and Amazon claimed to be taking “appropriate action.” So it must be downright shocking that Ebanel is committing so many more frauds, even going so far as to manipulate their Amazon reviews that they already verified fake (but not removed), to launch their almost perfect and new fake 5-star reviewed product listed in Scam 1.
This is not right on Amazon’s or anyone’s platform. We the consumers deserve better! This kind of serial consumer fraud needs to be permanently banished. Why is “even one” Ebanel fake review still on the Amazon website, especially after so many manipulations, fake reviews and complaints? The FTC director has already used legal enforcement to make it abundantly clear that this type of activity must be stopped!
So why is Amazon skirting both their legal obligations and their own public stated policy? All the while Ebanel is continuously expanding their egregious activities, making a mockery of so many of the stated policies they agreed to uphold as a product seller.
If you’re a consumer who bought these products based on Ebanel’s fake reviews and are unsatisfied as the product does not match the reviews, please ask for your money back and put up an honest review. You have the right to know the truth before you make a purchase.
If you know of other Amazon Fake Reviews or want to update us Ebanel Scams please email us a CommunalNews1@gmail.com All names and emails will be 100% confidential