Amazon is cracking down on fake review scammers on social media

Amazon is cracking down on fake review scammers on social media

Amazon has filed a lawsuit against the administrators of more than 10,000 Facebook groups that try to organize fake reviews on Amazon in exchange for money or free products.

These groups are set up to recruit individuals willing to post motivated and misleading reviews of Amazon stores in the US, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Japan.

Amazon will use the information disclosed in this legal action to identify bad actors and remove fraudulent reviews commissioned by these fraudsters that Amazon’s advanced technology, expert investigators and continuous monitoring have not yet detected.

Dharmesh Mehta, Amazon’s vice president of affiliate sales, said: “Our teams stop millions of suspicious reviews before customers ever see them, and this lawsuit goes one step further in uncovering the perpetrators who operate on social media.

“Proactive legal action targeting bad actors is one of the many ways we protect customers by holding bad actors accountable.”

The scammers behind such groups solicit fake reviews for hundreds of products available for sale on Amazon, including stereos and camera tripods. One of the groups identified in the lawsuit is “Amazon Product Review,” which had more than 43,000 members until Meta took the group down earlier this year. Amazon’s investigations revealed that the group’s administrators tried to hide their activity and avoid detection by Facebook, in part by blurring the letters from the problematic phrases.

Amazon strictly prohibits fake reviews and has more than 12,000 employees worldwide dedicated to protecting its stores from fraud and abuse, including fake reviews. A dedicated team investigates fake review schemes on social media sites, including Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter, and regularly reports abusive groups to these companies. As of 2020, Amazon has reported more than 10,000 fake review groups to Meti. Of those, Meta has removed more than half of the groups for policy violations and continues to investigate others.

Amazon pioneered product reviews, introducing them in 1995 to help customers make more informed purchasing decisions. The company aims to ensure that every review that appears in its stores is reliable and reflects the actual customer experience. Amazon’s expert investigators use industry-leading tools to detect and block fake reviews. As a result, Amazon proactively stopped more than 200 million suspected fake reviews in 2020 alone.

Today’s legal action is the latest step by Amazon to stop fraudsters who try to post fake reviews on Amazon stores. In the past year, Amazon’s legal action has shut down multiple major review brokers that targeted customers in the US, UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain.

However, the nefarious business of brokering fake reviews remains an industry-wide problem, and civil litigation is just one step. Permanently eliminating fake reviews in retail, travel and other sectors will require a greater public-private partnership, including cooperation between affected companies, social media sites and law enforcement, all aimed at the goal of greater consumer protection. Amazon remains eager to continue working with all relevant stakeholders to achieve that common goal.

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