Amazon Sues 1,000 People Over Fake Reviews

Amazon filed a lawsuit on Friday against more than 1,000 people who allegedly offered to hire themselves out as fake reviewers at $5 a review.
Internet users increasingly rely on online customer reviews when making spending decisions, whether they’re buying an iPhone case on Amazon or hiring an Uber ride in their hometown. But just how much can you trust those reviews? Fake reviews are nothing new to online retailing, and Amazon is far from the only big company affected. Yelp’s restaurant reviews and TripAdvisor’s hotel ratings have long been a target of critics who claim that merchants can easily post positive reviews of their own businesses.
All of the defendants to the Amazon lawsuit were selling their services on, a website where people can sell such services as designing a logo, editing a resume, creating a fan web page or transcribing audio. The lowest price per job is $5, hence the name “fiver.”
In order to post a “verified review,” in which Amazon verifies that the poster actually purchased the item on Amazon, some of the reviewers allegedly ask for a promo code so they could get the product for free. At least one poster, according to the complaint, suggested the seller ship an empty envelope to create a shipping record, allowing the poster to make a verified review without getting the product. Confirmed purchases on the site are identified as verified. This is a false sense of security, as even verified reviews can easily be hacked.
When suspicious reviews are found in Yelp, the company puts a “consumer alert” badge on a company’s Yelp site for 90 days warning consumers that reviews might be deceptive. If the problem persists, Yelp removes all reviews of the company.
TripAdvisor says it has a team of 300 people using fraud detection techniques to weed out fake reviews.

briservAmazon Sues 1,000 People Over Fake Reviews