More Office 2019 buying scams on Amazon and Ebay

Here’s three more Office 2019 scams to avoid.  They are plainly illegal sales of Microsoft Office that might work but Microsoft can cancel the licence at any time.  Two of them are on Amazon or Ebay, sites that customers should be able to trust and are supposed to prevent these bogus listings.

These are examples we’ve found or sent to us by readers, with a quick explanation of how we know it’s an illegal licence. We won’t link to these blatantly illegal sales, for obvious reasons. won’t be posting all of these scams. We don’t have the time to do Microsoft’s anti-piracy work for them <sigh>.


Maybe you think its worth a try?  If the software installs and activates you’ll be OK.  Wrong. One big difference in Office 2019 is the ongoing activation.  Office 2019 checks back regularly for Microsoft to authorize use of the software. It does that not just after install but also on a regular basis thereafter.  Windows 10 does the same thing.

Office 2019 Professional (Plus?) for $125

It’s hard to know where to begin with this offer, there are so many problems.

$125 for a $439 product is the first warning sign.  Office 2019 Professional/Professional Plus wholesales to stores for a lot more than $125 so there’s no way to legally and profitably sell at that price.  Though $125 is a little more credible than the $40 scams!

It’s not even clear which Office 2019 is on sale. In some places they refer to ‘Office 2019 Professional’ but others say ‘Office 2019 Professional Plus‘.

Their price comparison with Office 365 annual is WAY off the mark.  They compare Office 365 Home (6 users with 5 Office uses each) with Office 2019 perpetual licence for one computer and ignore the other major differences between Office 365 and Office 2019.

The reviews are fakes. Two of them are exactly the same wording (eg “I recently bought Office from your store, and I am coming back to write this review.”)  Even if they were genuine, after install and activation, there’s no guarantee that Microsoft won’t catch up with the scam and disable Office 2019 for those purchasers.

There’s other errors and inconsistencies but those are enough to be getting on with …

As with the Office Watch item on a similar Amazon listing … it has to be bogus.  ProPlus isn’t sold retail.

Office 2019 ProPlus for $40 on Amazon

Speaking of Amazon, there are three retailers offering an obviously illegal Office 2019 Professional Plus for $40.

This listing has been up since 3 November (over three weeks) with neither Amazon nor Microsoft taking action.  Despite this being very similar to another illegal listing back in October and appearing on the first page of searches.

One little trick is the makers name above the product title.  It says ‘MS’ to make it look more legitimate.  Real Microsoft products have ‘Microsoft’ in that position.

Ebay’s Office 365 for $19

Over on Ebay, an Aussie Office Watch reader sent this even more blatant scam.

The heading is a mash-up of keywords to improve search results.  There’s no such thing as ‘Office 365 Home and Business’.  We’re not completely sure what’s being offered but it’s definitely more than $19 Aussie dollars.

It’s supposedly a ‘Flash Sale for 12 Hours , Don’t Miss Out!’ but the listing has been posted for a week.   No action from Microsoft nor Ebay has taken this listing down, despite a good position on search results.

 “This is a one-time purchase and will never expire.”  is impossible. All Office 365 plans are time-limited (usually annual).  There’s no such thing as a ‘one-time’, ‘never expire’ Office 365.

Aside from the price, there are clues to how the illegal licence is delivered.

“The license is a business license which forms part of an academic license.”

“Very simple instructions with username and password to download Office 365.”

 “You cannot use your own email address for this subscription. Once installed add your email to the outlook application “  in other words, you sign-in with another account which raises privacy issues for shared ‘Recent Documents’ lists, OneDrive storage etc.