- Amazon is suing more than 11,000 people they say run Facebook groups that trade fake product reviews.
- The lawsuit says members of the Facebook group would be paid cash or free products to write 5-star reviews.
- The groups misspelled or changed certain sentences to avoid being suspended by Facebook, according to the lawsuit.
Amazon is expanding its crackdown on so-called “fraudsters” who pay for positive product reviews.
The e-commerce giant deposit a lawsuit targeting more than 11,000 people who she says help run Facebook groups by trading fake reviews on Amazon’s site.
According to the complaint, administrators of the Facebook group offer Amazon sellers 5-star product reviews from members of the group in exchange for payment or free products.
Amazon’s lawsuit details negotiations between Facebook group administrators and Amazon sellers seeking to buy fake reviews. Some administrators asked for a $10 fee per exam, according to the lawsuit.
Another admin asked an Amazon seller to pay a $6 fee before being allowed to post in the Facebook group, according to the lawsuit.
Amazon’s lawsuit says sellers would post in these groups, asking group members to buy their products and review them on Amazon’s website with the promise of money back after posting a positive review .
One group, called “Amazon Product Review,” had more than 43,000 members until Facebook removed it for violating its rules against fraud and deception, according to the lawsuit.
Amazon says participants in these Facebook groups confuse certain words to avoid being suspended for violating Facebook policies. Amazon said some participants were typing “R**fund Aftr R**view” instead of the phrase “Review Refund” and a group called “Amazon R3vi3w3rs Group (USA ONLY)” as examples of the practice.
Amazon says that since 2020 it has reported more than 10,000 fake review groups to Facebook, and the company has removed more than half of them and continues to investigate the rest.
In a statement to Insider, a Meta spokesperson said, “Groups that solicit or encourage false reviews violate our policies and are removed. We are working with Amazon on this issue and will continue to partner with the wider industry to fight spam and fake reviews.
However, in the past Amazon has hinted that Facebook owner Meta could do more to target these groups. Last year, Amazon published a blog post criticizing social media companies for not spending enough money to weed out groups tricking people into writing fake product reviews.
Amazon says it is suing to shut down these groups, identify bad actors, and get their “ill-gotten gains” reimbursed.
This is not the first time in recent history that Amazon has taken legal action to stop the proliferation of fake product reviews on its e-commerce site. In February, the company sued two websites it accused of being “bogus review brokers.”