Amazon Goes After Third-Party Sellers For Buying, Creating Fake Reviews

Image courtesy of Alan Rappa

Months after filing several lawsuits to block companies from selling fraudulent positive reviews on its site, Amazon is now turning its focus to those that purchase the fake reviews, taking action against one company and two individuals who sell on the e-commerce site. 

The Seattle Times reports that Amazon recently filed three cases with the American Arbitration Association, accusing third-party sellers — a California man, another man from Pennsylvania, and a Chinese company called CCBetter Direct — of creating or paying for fake reviews of their products.

According to Amazon, anywhere from 30% to 45% of the total reviews for these sellers’ products are fake.

Amazon contends that the sellers use one of two methods to raise the profile of their products on the site: create their own positive reviews by way of fake accounts, or pay others to praise their products.

With the cases, Amazon is seeking to ban the sellers from using its site to peddle their products or accessing Amazon services in the future. The complaints also ask for the profits the sellers made on the site, attorneys’ fees, and damages exceeding $25,000, TechCrunch reports.

While Amazon has previously said it had filed lawsuits against more than 1,100 people who posted fake reviews for cash and began suing companies offering such reviews in April 2015, the company is attempting to get at the root of the problem by targeting merchants to pay for the reviews.

“Our goal is to eliminate the incentives for sellers to engage in review abuse and shut down this ecosystem around fraudulent reviews in exchange for compensation,” the company said in a statement.

Amazon steps up pursuit of merchants who pay for fake reviews [The Seattle Times]
Amazon sues sellers for buying fake reviews [TechCrunch]