Amazon has taken legal action against the administrators of more than 10,000 Facebook groups who attempt to orchestrate fake reviews on Amazon in exchange for money or free products. These groups are created to recruit people who want to post inciting and misleading reviews on Amazon stores in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and Japan.
The company says it will use the information uncovered in this lawsuit to identify bad actors and remove fake reviews ordered by these scammers that have not yet been detected by Amazon’s advanced technology, expert investigators and continuous monitoring.
“Our teams stop millions of suspicious reviews before they are ever seen by customers, and this lawsuit goes one step further to uncover perpetrators operating on social media,” said Dharmesh Mehta, Vice President of Services. sales to Amazon partners. “Proactive legal action targeting bad actors is one of the many ways we protect customers by holding bad actors accountable.”
The scammers behind these groups solicit fake reviews for hundreds of products available for sale on Amazon, including car 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 eliminated the group earlier this year. Amazon’s investigations revealed that the group’s administrators had tried to hide their activity and evade Facebook’s detection, in part by masking the letters of the problematic phrases.
Amazon says it 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 programs on social media sites, including Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter, and regularly reports abusive groups to these companies. Since 2020, Amazon has reported over 10,000 fake review groups to Meta. Of these, Meta has removed more than half of the groups for policy violations and continues to investigate the others.
The company claims to have proactively stopped more than 200 million suspected fake reviews in 2020 alone.
However, the nefarious business of brokering fake reviews remains an industry-wide problem, and civil lawsuits are just one step. Permanently eliminating fake reviews in retail, travel and other industries will require greater public-private partnership, including collaboration between affected businesses, social media sites and law enforcement. , all focused on an objective of increased consumer protection.