Nowadays e-commerce is the new trend compared to the retail stores, but some sellers will manipulate their rankings through false purchases of their own items to boost rankings significantly. The thing is, they cannot do this at the location at where they are opening their seller accounts as the site will save their information. So what they do to make a new account is:

  • Buy a new disposal sim card to get a new and unique number.
  • Use a different mobile phone (To receive SMS codes as some websites may use metrics such as their ANDROID_ID to detect the device used)
  • Use a different and unique PC with a different wifi network to make the purchase. (such as internet rental cafes or public computers)
  • Create a one time use e-mail using the new mobile number.
  • Pay with methods that are offline without need for identification (such as 7-eleven stores, and other convenient methods that just requires the transaction number)

With this being said, there is almost no fingerprints left behind to find out if it is indeed being purchased by the item's own seller. The sure way to catch them is to contact the person who sold the mobile phone and find the phone's unique identification details as to who the owner of the phone is (assuming the phone isn't stolen), but this is time consuming and unlikely.

What are other ways can the e-commerce website trace these activities?

  • 1
    Most e-commerce sites usually don't care, unless it's a blatant fraud or someone points out. They are making money, so why care?
    – ThoriumBR
    Feb 24, 2019 at 4:59
  • @ThoriumBR I thought the same, but they actually do and they impose high penalties on the seller if caught despite having no effect on their revenue stream
    – Pherdindy
    Feb 24, 2019 at 4:59
  • The EULA usually deters fraudsters. The heavy penalty IF caught is enough to scare fraudsters away. And being immortalized on the Internet for trying to defraud Amazon is not a good achievement for any business.
    – ThoriumBR
    Feb 24, 2019 at 5:01
  • @ThoriumBR I see thanks that's true and most likely not worth their time. Although assuming they do care what are ways they can find out? I am new to security and authentication and I am learning what are the usual information being used to identify these situations
    – Pherdindy
    Feb 24, 2019 at 5:04
  • The method described is so laborious it takes actually less effort to just sell the product. This way the seller also gets money along with the reputation, instead of spending it to new phones and SIM cards. Feb 24, 2019 at 6:30

1 Answer 1


All you can do is make it more costlier to perform such kind of activities but it could end up in negative effects on genuine buyers. For example one who owns 51% of hash power in any of the crypto-currency could rule the crypto-currency. But the cost of owning 51% of hash power is very expensive. Likewise make your system more expensive for buyers, if you have implemented the mechanisms posted in your questions like unique phone number verification, email address verification and so on it is sufficient.

If you are requesting way too much of personal information then complexity of creating buyer accounts will increase. New buyers will not give way too much of their personal information in your site.

The best way to solve this problem is by implementing "Payment verification" on the buyer side. That is to verify their credit/debit cards. This will prevent the fraudsters creating more and more fake accounts. Implementing Payment verification is easy for you and for the buyer. The stress of requiring so much of personal info is on the bank and fraudsters cannot easily request 100s of credit cards from the bank.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.