Amazon sues more than 1,000 sellers of ‘fake’ product reviews

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

File image

NEW YORK (Oct. 19, 2015) — Amazon is expanding its campaign against fake product reviews posted on its website.

The online retailer is suing more than 1,000 people who are “misleading Amazon’s customers” by selling “fake reviews of products,” according to a complaint the company filed in a Seattle court on Friday.

The lawsuit targets account holders on Fiverr.com, a marketplace for odd-jobs where “gigs” are sold for $5 and up. Amazon doesn’t know who is behind the accounts so lists them all as “John Doe” in the suit.

Amazon sued several websites in April for selling false reviews. It said most of those sites have been shut down, and it described the new suit against individual reviewers as the next step.

“Most of the defendants offer positive or 5-star reviews for Amazon sellers’ products. Indeed, many encourage the Amazon seller to create the text for their own reviews,” the complaint reads.

Amazon’s terms of use ban fake reviews, and it’s suing for breach of contract and violating Washington’s consumer protection laws.

Court documents say Amazon conducted an “extensive investigation” into the Fiverr users. It claims some tried to dodge Amazon.com’s review controls by posting from different accounts and IP addresses.

“In at least one instance, the seller of a ‘Verified Review’ was willing to receive an empty envelop, not the product itself, simply to create a shipping record,” the court filing says.

Fiverr declined to say whether it will cooperate in the case but said “we actively remove services that violate our terms of use”

“The challenge of merchants soliciting illegitimate reviews is one that faces all marketplaces and online platforms,” Fiverr said in a statement. “In fact, in our own marketplace we restrict reviews to only those who we can verify have actually purchased a service.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s