Amazon is launching legal action against ‘fake review brokers’ in an effort to curb the tide of online fraudulent reviews.
The company said it has launched legal action against fraudsters attempting to mislead Amazon customers and harm Amazon selling partners by facilitating fake reviews. The legal action is against firms Reddit Marketing Pro, MangoCity, Littlesmm and Nice Discount.
It also said that fake reviews are primarily being driven by the emergence of an illicit “fake review broker” industry. Amazon said that brokers approach customers directly through websites, social media channels, and encrypted messaging services, soliciting them to write fake reviews in exchange for money, free products, or other incentives.
The company said that it already invests significant resources, including machine learning models and expert investigators, to proactively stop fake reviews before being seen by a customer.
As a result, Amazon proactively blocked over 200 million suspected fake reviews from our stores in 2022. The lawsuits outlined here are part of an ongoing effort to stop fake reviews at the source by targeting the fraudsters facilitating the reviews and holding them accountable.
Responding to the news, Chris Downie, CEO of anti-fraud platform Pasabi said: “Fake review brokers play a central role in poisoning consumer decision-making, destroying businesses and inflicting untold damage on the wider economy. Whilst it’s encouraging to see Amazon taking these fraudsters to task via the legal system, so much more needs to be done to tackle the growing fake review epidemic which influences around £4bn in UK consumer spending every year.
“By harnessing the power of AI and the latest fraud detection anti-fraud technology, review aggregators and business owners need to work together to identify and block fraudulent reviews, stamping out the problem before it gets any worse,” added Downie.
Amazon chief David Montague, vice president of Selling Partner Risk, said, “Our goal is to ensure that every review in Amazon’s stores is trustworthy and reflects customers’ actual experiences. Amazon welcomes authentic reviews—whether positive or negative —but strictly prohibits fake reviews that intentionally mislead customers.”
“We continue to innovate on our proactive technology to detect fake reviews and other indications of unusual behaviour. Another way we fight fake reviews is through legal action. Not only are we targeting the source of the problem but we’re sending a clear message that there’s no place for abuse in our store and we will hold fraudsters accountable,” he added.