1. News
July 20, 2022

Amazon files lawsuit against Facebook group admins over fake reviews

The groups posted misleading reviews across Amazon’s sites in the US, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Japan.

E-commerce giant Amazon has taken legal action against more than 10,000 Facebook group administrators for brokering fake reviews.

The groups allegedly recruited individuals to post misleading reviews on Amazon’s websites in exchange for money or free products.

The counterfeit reviews targeted the retailer’s stores in the US, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Japan.

Amazon said that fraudsters falsely reviewed hundreds of products that were available on the site, including car stereos and camera tripods.

One such group identified in the lawsuit is ‘Amazon Product Review’, which had more than 43,000 members and was removed by Meta earlier this year.

In its investigation, Amazon revealed that the group admins attempted to conceal their activity and even managed to evade Facebook’s detection by switching letters around in phrases.

The e-commerce retailer intends to use information gained from the legal action to detect bad actors and accordingly remove undetected fake reviews commissioned by them.

Amazon said that its employees ‘are dedicated to protecting its stores from fraud and abuse, including fake reviews’.

The company currently employs more than 12,000 staff worldwide.

A dedicated team of Amazon employees has been investigating fake review schemes on several social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter.

The retailer has reported more than 10,000 fake review groups to Meta since 2020.

Amazon selling partner services vice-president Dharmesh Mehta said: “Our teams stop millions of suspicious reviews before they’re ever seen by customers, and this lawsuit goes a step further to uncover perpetrators operating on social media.

“Proactive legal action targeting bad actors is one of many ways we protect customers by holding bad actors accountable.”

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) recently began an investigation into Amazon over allegations of anti-competitive practices.

The inquiry aims to assess whether Amazon is using its dominant position to manipulate the market and give an unfair advantage to its own retail business or sellers that use its services.