Fake Ryzen CPUs are reportedly being shipped out to Amazon customers

Ryzen Threadripper

It’s difficult to think of an online retailer that is more trustworthy than Amazon. However, reports are circulating that customers who recently purchased Ryzen CPUs from the site have received fake components, prompting questions about how these items entered the supply chain.

Earlier this month, Reddit user Sh00ter999 posted an image gallery to the site detailing his experience with a fake Ryzen CPU. While the exterior packaging of the component initially looked legitimate, opening up the box and looking at the processor itself revealed that something was amiss.

Whereas real Ryzen CPUs have the products name embossed into the surface of the component, Sh00ter999 found that his part simply had a sticker attached to its exterior. Removing this sticker revealed what had really been delivered — an Intel Celeron processor with 2.9 GHz.

The issues with Sh00ter999’s order did not stop there. In addition to the processor itself not being what it seemed, the accompanying Wraith Spire LED cooler was by no means in the sort of condition you would expect a new component to be in. It was dented, dirty, and clearly not the actual cooler that AMD bundles with its Ryzen CPUs.

It’s not entirely clear how this phony Ryzen CPU happened to be sent to an Amazon customer. When asked by a fellow Reddit user, Sh00ter999 confirmed that he bought the part directly from the site, rather than from a third-party seller. The going theory is that someone else purchased the product, swapped out the processor and the cooler, then returned it for a refund while keeping the legitimate parts.

While the processor didn’t hold up to close scrutiny, the AMD seal on the box was apparently a pretty convincing fake. Adding weight to this theory is the fact that the plastic packaging around the CPU itself seemed to have been sealed with a cigarette lighter, rather than professional equipment.

There is a happy ending to this story — Sh00ter999 got in touch with Amazon’s perennially helpful customer service department and was shipped a replacement processor overnight. This seems to be an isolated incident, but more than one customer has reported the scam, according to PC Gamer.

Update: We’ve reached out to Amazon for an official statement on the matter.