May 30, 2024

Amazon on Tuesday said it is suing the administrators of more than 10,000 Facebook groups that incentivize people to write fraudulent reviews about products sold on its stores in the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Japan. 

The lawsuits are aimed at identifying “bad actors” and removing the fake reviews from Amazon’s websites, the e-commerce giant said. The company noted that these groups have solicited fraudulent reviews for hundreds of products sold through its services, including car stereos and camera tripods. One group, called Amazon Product Review, had more than 43,000 members until Facebook parent Meta shut it down earlier this year.

Fake reviews have long plagued major online retailers, with fraudsters providing gift cards or other incentives to people who will provide glowing ratings about products they’ve never used. Product manufacturers that resort to fake reviews are often eager to earn 5-star ratings that can grab shoppers’ attention or push their products to the top of Amazon’s search results. But phony reviews ultimately undermine the retailers’ credibility. 

“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,” Dharmesh Mehta, Amazon’s vice president of Selling Partner Services, said in a statement. 

Amazon said it has more than 12,000 employees who work on fraud and abuse issues, including fake reviews, and that it has reported more than 10,000 fake review groups to Meta. 

Meta has shut down about half the groups reported by Amazon, while it is investigating others, Amazon said on Tuesday. 

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