Reports are surfacing of fake AMD Ryzen CPUs being sold through online store giant Amazon. The key’s in the details…
AMD’s Ryzen processors are some handy slices of silicon, but are they the best you can get? Check out our guide to the best CPUs for gaming (link) to find out.
It would appear scammers have been fiddling with our beloved processors, after two Amazon users have posted news of receiving faked Ryzen processors only a week apart from each other. The first report came a little over a week ago, showing an Intel chip with the blue team branding scrubbed off and replaced with AMD markings. A second followed soon after, which redditors have noted featured a different CPU SKU, but the same design of unofficial branding as before, leading to speculation that the two instances are the work of the same scammer (or team of scammers).
These fake processors appear to be part of a scam designed to fool Amazon’s checks of returned products. Scammers would remove the real Ryzen processor, replace it with their newly rebranded, old CPU, and return the package - provided the weight and appearance were close enough to the real thing to fool Amazon’s staff, the scammers get to walk away with a fresh new chip gratis. The mock-up would then end up back in circulation, which would explain how other customers got their hands on them via Amazon.
More seasoned PC builders would notice the fake chips have a land grid array (LGA) design, rather than the pin grid array (PGA) design the current Ryzen chips actually sport. First time builders could be fooled however, and if more of these fake chips were to make their way into the mainstream we could see new PC builders put off by the added uncertainty in an already complex learning process.
Fortunately, the smooth LGA underside of the fake chips and pin-free socket for current-gen Ryzen chips means it’d be tougher for newbies to damage their new motherboards by forcing the components together - after all, you can’t bend your pins if there aren’t any pins to bend.
Our first unlucky contestant reports Amazon has sent a replacement with overnight express delivery, so fortunately the story has a happy ending. We can only presume the same happened for the more recent recipient of a fake Ryzen, but this news raises a scary question: how many more fake Ryzens haven’t been reported, and how many are still out there in circulation?