Core i7-13700K Sold As An i9-13900K On Amazon Is A Reminder To Be Aware Of CPU Scammers

hero Fake Core i7 13900K
A redditor has posted some images and screenshots from a PC system they thought was packing one of Intel's newest flagship processors. However, there is a jarring disconnect between the CPU photos and screenshots from PC sysinfo software tools. The redditor says they bought an Intel Core i9-13900K, but the firmest evidence before their eyes says it is a Core i7-13700K.

When you are shopping for a new CPU for a new system or upgrade, then Amazon is a trustworthy e-tailer with a trustworthy marketplace, right? Well, third party sellers on Amazon sometimes have pretty bad reviews, and other times sneaky folk might try and exploit Amazon's well regarded returns policy by switching returned components.

Fake Core i7 13900K verification

We don't exactly know what happened in the case of Much Designer 8417, as details about the Amazon transaction, including if it was a third-party seller, haven't been divulged. However, we do know that the CPU advertised as an i9-13900K was bought in April, and the user has only just got around to running a tool like CPU-Z to verify its specifications. Some people just buy computers or components and use them, rather than cherish, covet, monitor, tweak and microscopically analyze them – who knew?

What appears to have happened, if the redditor's report is genuine, is that someone returned an 'unused' Core i9-13900K to Amazon. But in fact, the dishonest person in this chain of events will have had to have swapped a CPU integrated heat spreader (IHS) onto a cheaper (MSRP $419) Core i7-13700K, then either returned or resold it as the "Core i9-13900K" (MSRP $599) acquired by Much Designer 8417. This suggests some scammer somewhere benefitted from a $180 deduction on their processor price. However, there was also some considerable effort involved in IHS swapping.

CPU Z and Core Temp shows i7 13700K

Another possibility is that the seller of the 'Core i9-13900K' removed the original markings on the Core i7-13700K IHS and managed to re-engrave it to look like an i9-13900K. This is also a bit of an effort for rather small gains that will be found out quite quickly. This second method would also need some original i9-13900K outer packaging in order to be convincing.

Whatever happened here, it is a reminder to test and verify any hardware that you purchase is genuine, performs as expected, and come with all advertised accessories. Do your verification at your earliest convenience, even when purchasing from the most trusted of sellers – we have seen this kind of issue arise at a wide range of retailers in the past.