​Amazon Fake Reviewers Sued After Stealing Identities To Leave Five-Star Ratings

Amazon Fake Reviewers
Author: Kara GilmourBy:
Staff Reporter
Oct. 20, 2015

Amazon fake reviewers are facing a lawsuit filed by the company to unmask more than 1,000 people suspected of stealing identities to leave five-star feedback on top bestseller lists. The retail giant is forcing them to pay damages for the”‘manipulation and deception” of its customers, according to court papers filed in the United States on Friday, according to BBC.

Amazon claims the 1,114 defendants, known as “John Does” because their real identities are a mystery, offered to write false reviews for as little as $5.00 on the website Fiverr. It found the alleged fake reviewers through an “extensive investigation” in which the company posed as potential customers on Fiverr.

Fiverr has previously co-operated by taking down the Amazon fake reviewers, but the retail company claimed that “does not address the root cause of the issue or serve as a sufficient deterrent.”

Amazon fake reviewers face legal action.

Amazon fake reviewers face legal action.

Amazon has identified the fake reviewers, the courts would force them to turn over the details of their clients. The authors and sellers who paid for the fake reviews may also face legal action from the online company in the future.

This latest legal action comes after Amazon sued a number of websites in April for selling fake reviews.

Amazon has tackled the issue before by removing fake listings but said this does not remove the “root cause” of the problem or provide a strong enough deterrent to “bad actors engaged in creating and purchasing fraudulent product reviews.” The company said many of the defendants requested the review text from the booksellers themselves and avoided detection by creating multiple accounts.

The crack-down on fake reviewers came shortly after an investigation where investigators pushed an e-book to the top of one of Amazon’s bestseller charts using fake reviews. Some of the fake reviewers who left positive feedback for the book, ‘Everything Bonsai!’, were also exposed in Amazon’s lawsuit.

Fiverr

The book, which was written in a weekend and strewn with errors, went to the top of the gardening and horticulture section on Amazon UK’s Kindle store after fake reviewers were paid just $87.

Four reviewers used their several fake identities to download the book more than 200 times in five days and posted four and five-star reviews.

As well as creating a buzz around books to boost sales, Amazon fake reviewers also offer to fabricate negative posts for individuals and businesses who want to sabotage rivals. The 1,114 defendants are part of a much bigger problem, sparking fears that consumer spending of $36 billion a year is being rigged by sellers paying for bogus endorsements.

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