• Robert Spicer

Amazon sues 1,114 “fake reviewers”

The US retail giant Amazon has filed a lawsuit against 1,114 anonymous reviewers for making “false, misleading and inauthentic” reviews paid for by sellers to improve their products’ attraction. In doing so, it says its brand reputation is being damaged; “While small in number, these reviews can significantly undermine the trust that consumers and the vast majority of sellers and manufacturers place in Amazon, which in turn tarnishes Amazon’s brand…”

Its internal investigation found that people via a website Fiverr.com were advertising a five star review and offering purchasers to write their own reviews. One such review related to a USB cable, with comments such as “this has lit up my life” and “cool charger”. One reviewer named as “bess98” in the legal reviews stated; “I will do, Amazon Reviews for $5” and would post an “awesome review on your Amazon product”. When contacted by the Amazon investigator, posing as a retailer, he was told that “you have to provide me the review text”. Another named “Rerina” offered to provide up to nine 5* reviews for $5 each. The investigator was told “you know the your (sic) product better than me. So please provide your product review, it will be better.” Some go further, and offer to place “verified reviews”, showing the reviewer has purchased the item. In this case, many ask for voucher codes so they can order the product without buying it, while others say they are willing to receive an empty envelope or parcel so to create a shipping record with Amazon.

Fiverr is not a defendant in the proceedings and is working with Amazon to resolve the issues. This latest action comes after Amazon took on a number of websites in April for selling fake reviews.

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