Amazon New Crackdown on Fake Reviews

Amazon has intensified a new crackdown on websites that promote the possibility of obtaining fake reviews on the product pages of the marketplace. It has announced new actions that aim at curbing and discouraging a phenomenon that is still too widespread.

In fact, Jeff Bezos’s company has recently filed a lawsuit against AppSally and Rebatest.  The accusation is that they have helped to mislead buyers by publishing fake reviews written by their members. An activity that would have involved not only Amazon, but also eBay, Walmart and Etsy.

In the press release, Amazon states that it has taken this legal action following an in-depth investigation of these fake review brokers. Put together, they claim to have a community of almost a million members willing to write fake reviews in exchange for small sums of money.

How do the fake review brokers act?

According to Amazon’s accusation, the two sites allegedly have the same illegal auspices, though acting with different modus operandi.

Bezos’ company lawyers reconstructed that AppSally supposedly asks bad actors to send empty packages to people willing to write fake reviews and then provide photographs to upload alongside the reviews. The cost of such fake reviews (which seemingly look authentic to other buyers) would be a mere $20 each.

On the other hand, Rebatest apparently pays people to write 5-star reviews. But the payment goes through only if the bad actors trying to sell the articles in question approve them. Again, there is a limited exchange of money for the benefit of the participants in this illegal system.

So, once again, we cannot but urge whoever sells on Amazon’s e-commerce platform to pay close attention to the correctness of their actions. We strongly suggest avoiding the temptation to purchase fake reviews from illegal sites in order to improve ranking in the search masks. As a foreboding reminder, let’s not forget that this line of conduct recently saw Amazon ban 3,000 sellers for this very reason.

We would also like to invite buyers to consult this short guide on how to recognize fake reviews on Amazon . It is very useful to improve awareness of what is going on in the marketplace.

How to distinguish fake reviews from authentic ones

In summary, we recommend you always prefer consulting reviews that:

  • are the result of verified purchases, i.e. made by users who have actually bought the product on the same platform
  • have been tested for their reliability through independent websites, such as Fakespot and ReviewMeta. These sites enable you to assess the reliability of the reviews on a product page
  • can be cross-referenced with reviews on other sites. (Usually sellers who resort to fake reviews only practice this bad conduct on the marketplace, and not on other channels)
  • are very recent. (Bad actors who resort to fake reviews do so mainly in the early part of their product sale cycle in order to get an immediate boost in ratings).

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