Amazon 'flooded by fake five-star reviews'

Amazon 'flooded by fake five-star reviews'

Yahoo Finance UK  Tom Belger April 16, 2019

Amazon (AMZN) is flooded with ‘fake’ five-star reviews of popular products, a leading UK consumer group has claimed.

An investigation by the consumer group Which? found hundreds of unverified accounts left top reviews on tech products in a single day.

Which? says glowing reviews from unverified buyers are a “telltale sign of ‘fake’ reviews,” and said its findings showed they had become a “serious problem” in online shopping.

The research found little-known brands dominated search results for several popular tech products including cameras, headphones and smart watches, often thanks to reviews regarded as suspicious by Which?.

But Amazon has said it invests “significant” resources in weeding out fake reviews, and took action against firms and individuals suspected of using them.

The first page of headphones on Amazon’s site was “by far the worst offender,” with every single product from a brand not recognised by the organisation.

Which? found more than 10,000 reviews from unverified users on just 24 pairs of headphones in a couple of hours.

It said 71% of products on the first headphones page had perfect five-star reviews, and 87% of products were not confirmed as Amazon purchases.

In some cases, it found positive reviews for the wrong products on listings.

Hannah Walsh of Which? said: “97% of shoppers rely on online customer reviews to help make a purchase, according to a survey we conducted in September 2018 of more than 2,000 adults. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) estimates that £23bn a year of UK consumer spending is potentially influenced by online reviews.


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