How fake reviewers using stolen identities of British schoolgirls can be hired for £3 to get books into bestseller lists on Amazon
From The Daily Mail:
Fake reviewers using stolen identities can be hired for just £3 to get books into bestseller lists on Amazon, it was claimed today.
The ‘professional review writers’ are paid to pen five-star reports for various products on the retail website, using the identities of real people from social media to make them seem more reliable.
One US-based reviewer with dozens of accounts sold positive reviews to an undercover reporter for $5 (£3.26) each, posting them under the names of three 15-year-old girls from Middlesbrough.
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In an investigation, The Sunday Times published a ghost-written eBook full of errors, and spent £56 on fake reviewers who got it to the top of a UK Kindle gardening and horticulture bestsellers list.
Sophie Tiernan was one of the three British schoolgirls whose identities were used to review products – including eBooks, beard growth supplements and even a rectal thermometer.
Her mother Gill Tiernan told the newspaper: ‘This is completely disgusting. These girls are all friends so this person must have gone through their Facebook profiles to steal their details.’
She added that her daughter was ‘petrified’ about what happened and had complained to Amazon, insisting that the website must have better procedures in place to verify reviewers.
The newspaper’s reporters Robin Henry and Sanya Burgess also found a Bangladesh-based reviewer who charges $7 (£4.57) for a positive review and $10 (£6.52) for a negative one.
Link to the rest at The Daily Mail and thanks to Karen for the tip.