Amazon Files Lawsuits Against Fraudsters Peddling Fake Reviews

According to Amazon, it has already taken significant action against 94 fraudsters operating in the United States, China, and Europe in May 2023.

Amazon’s action should come as no surprise that, just like the proliferation of fake news, fake reviews have also become a significant aspect of the underground scam market.

In a determined effort to protect its customers and sellers from the growing menace of fake reviews, e-commerce giant Amazon has recently launched a series of lawsuits against fraudulent individuals and organizations.

These perpetrators, operating within an underground network known as the “fake review broker” industry, have been exploiting unsuspecting consumers and tarnishing the reputation of Amazon’s marketplace.

Amazon has invested substantial resources in advanced technologies, including machine learning models and expert investigators, to proactively combat fake reviews before they reach the eyes of customers.

In 2022 alone, the company successfully blocked over 200 million suspected fake reviews from appearing on its platform. Now, by targeting the facilitators of these fraudulent practices, Amazon aims to strike at the root of the problem and hold those responsible accountable.

Amazon announced significant actions taken against 94 fraudsters operating in the United States, China, and Europe. These actions were implemented as of May 2023, showcasing the technology giant’s proactive approach to tackling the issue at hand.

It should come as no surprise that, just like the proliferation of fake news, fake reviews have also become a significant aspect of the underground scam market. In fact, as of March 2020, fake reviews accounted for 50% of the threats faced by Android-based devices, among other issues.

The seriousness of the issue is further exemplified by a notable incident in May 2021. During this incident, a misconfigured server inadvertently exposed a staggering 7GB of well-organized schemes employed by Amazon vendors to generate fake reviews for their products on the website.

According to a press release issued on June 28th, 2023, the legal actions filed by Amazon include four notable lawsuits against prominent perpetrators. Here is an overview of each case:

Amazon v. Nice Discount:

The owners and operators of Nice Discount have been accused of orchestrating a scheme to generate fake positive reviews and feedback through their “Product Tester Club.” Reviewers are enticed to leave fabricated positive reviews or feedback in exchange for refunds or monetary rewards. By connecting bad actors operating Amazon selling accounts with reviewers, the defendants have guided these individuals on when and how to post fake reviews, creating an illusion of authenticity. Case No. 23-2-10603-2 SEA.

Amazon v. Littlesmm:

The website Littlesmm has allegedly been selling packages of fake reviews to unscrupulous individuals operating Amazon selling accounts across Australia, Canada, and the U.S. Ranging in price from $20 to $440, these packages offer both positive and negative reviews. By employing Amazon customer accounts under their control, the defendants have orchestrated the posting of counterfeit positive reviews while simultaneously undermining their competitors’ product listings through fake negative reviews. Case No. 23-2-10452-8 SEA.

Amazon v. MangoCity:

The owners and operators of MangoCity have been accused of selling fake reviews for prices ranging from $50 to $4,000. Utilizing their website, video chats, and email correspondence, the defendants accept payments and subsequently deploy Amazon customer accounts to leave fabricated 5-star reviews on product listing pages. Additionally, they have targeted competitors by offering fake negative reviews on their products. Case No. 23-2-11278-4 SEA.

Amazon v. Reddit Marketing Pro:

The owners and operators of Reddit Marketing Pro have allegedly provided fraudulent services, including fake positive and negative reviews, to bad actors with Amazon selling accounts. In exchange for fees ranging from $99 for five fake reviews to $6,999 for 500 fake reviews, the defendants have employed Amazon customer accounts under their control to populate product listing pages with counterfeit reviews. They have also marketed fake “Questions and Answers” to manipulate the content displayed. Case No. 23-2-11265-2 SEA.

In a comment to, Chris Downie, CEO of Edinburgh, Scotland-based anti-fraud platform Pasabi said, “Fake review brokers play a central role in poisoning consumer decision-making, destroying businesses and inflicting untold damage on the wider economy.”

Downie added that “Whilst it’s encouraging to see Amazon taking these fraudsters to task via the legal system, so much more needs to be done to tackle the growing fake review epidemic which influences around £4bn in UK consumer spending every year.”

“By harnessing the power of AI and the latest fraud detection anti-fraud technology, review aggregators and business owners need to work together to identify and block fraudulent reviews, stamping out the problem before it gets any worse,” added Downie.

Amazon chief David Montague, vice president of Selling Partner Risk, said, “Our goal is to ensure that every review in Amazon’s stores is trustworthy and reflects customers’ actual experiences. Amazon welcomes authentic reviews—whether positive or negative —but strictly prohibits fake reviews that intentionally mislead customers.”

“We continue to innovate on our proactive technology to detect fake reviews and other indications of unusual behaviour. Another way we fight fake reviews is through legal action. Not only are we targeting the source of the problem but we’re sending a clear message that there’s no place for abuse in our store and we will hold fraudsters accountable,” he added.

Despite Amazon’s aggressive stance against fake review brokers, the company recognizes that this is a pervasive global problem affecting multiple industries. To address this issue effectively, a collaborative effort between the public and private sectors is required.

By taking legal action against 94 fraudsters across the United States, China, and Europe, as of May 2023, Amazon is demonstrating its commitment to combatting this menace. However, the battle against fake review brokers demands ongoing vigilance and cooperation to ensure a safe and trustworthy online marketplace for consumers and sellers alike.

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