Amazon sues more than 1,114 people over 'fake reviews'

Amazon sues more than 1,000 people over 'fake reviews'

Online retail giant says in lawsuit filed in US that its brand reputation is being tarnished by 'false, misleading and inauthentic' reviews

By John Bingham, Social Affairs Editor 2:15PM BST 18 Oct 2015

Amazon is taking legal action against more than 1,000 people it claims provide fake reviews on its website.

The online retail giant said in the lawsuit, filed in the US on Friday, that its brand reputation is being tarnished by "false, misleading and inauthentic" reviews.

Amazon claims the 1,114 defendants, termed "John Does" as the company said it is unaware of their real names, offer their false review service for as little as five dollars (£3.25) on the website Fiverr.com, with most promising 5-star reviews for a seller's products.

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

Despite successful efforts to remove such ads from the site before, Amazon said taking away individual listings does not address the "root cause" of the issue or provide a strong enough deterrent to those "bad actors engaged in creating and purchasing fraudulent product reviews".

The legal action says: "Amazon is bringing this action to protect its customers from this misconduct, by stopping defendants and uprooting the ecosystem in which they participate."

The firm said it had investigated the defendants and found many of them request text from the sellers for the reviews, and take steps to avoid detection by using multiple accounts and unique IP addresses.

It added that the defendants acted in the knowledge that Amazon - which described itself as "Earth's most customer-centric company" and detailed how it pioneered the system of customer reviews 20 years ago - does not allow paid for or fictional reviews.


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