Amazon’s Latest Actions Against Fake Review Brokers: 2 Fraudsters Found Guilty Of Facilitating Fake Reviews In Amazon’s Store

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From Public.:

Two individual fake review brokers were found guilty of illegal business operations intended to deceive Amazon customers and harm Amazon selling partners through the facilitation of fake reviews. These verdicts are the result of local law enforcement’s investigation and a criminal referral supported by Amazon.

From March 2021 to March 2022, the China-based defendants used third-party messaging applications to advertise and sell fake reviews to bad actors operating Amazon selling accounts. In exchange for a fee, the defendants left fake positive reviews to boost a bad actor’s product ranking, or fake negative reviews to lower the ranking of a competitor’s product.

Following the criminal referral, local law enforcement conducted an investigation and confirmed the review brokers’ illicit activities in Amazon’s U.S. store. The defendants were officially sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison and three years of probation in China, marking Amazon’s second criminal judgement of this kind.

The Counterfeit Crimes Unit is a global team dedicated to partnering with law enforcement, brands, and other stakeholders to disrupt counterfeiters and their networks.

“Amazon is pleased to see that these fraudsters are being held accountable for their actions,” said David Montague, Amazon’s vice president of Selling Partner Risk. “The verdicts are a testament to the partnership of local officials in bringing down those who attempt to deceive our customers and harm our selling partners. We look forward to continuing to partner with law enforcement toward the mutual goal of bringing fake review brokers to justice.

“Amazon pioneered online customer reviews 25 years ago, and we are committed to ensuring that our reviews remain a trustworthy, insightful resource for customers. Amazon will continue to protect customers, our selling partners, and our stores from fake reviews by investing in proactive tools to detect and stop fake reviews from appearing in our stores. As a result of continued investments, Amazon proactively blocked more than 200 million suspected fake reviews from our stores in 2022, and as of the end of August, we have taken legal action against 147 fraudsters across China, Europe, and the U.S.”

Link to the rest at Public.

2 thoughts on “Amazon’s Latest Actions Against Fake Review Brokers: 2 Fraudsters Found Guilty Of Facilitating Fake Reviews In Amazon’s Store”

    • The same way they “deal” with review bombs: rarely.

      Case in point: The reviews for the magnificent STARFIELD RPG (recently released) are absolutely bimodal: long reviews from people who have played it – 5 stars while a horde of drive-by ratings from entities who admit they haven’t – 1 star. Amazon doesn’t seem to notice.

      The equivalent of Rotten Tomatoes For games, METACRITIC, suffers similarly. A game with a preponderance of 9/10 reviews from reputable critics who have taken time to experience the game (it *is* a slow burn, but then it is good for hundreds of hours of unique gameplay) offset but haters, some offended they didn’t receive pre-launch copies, rate it 1-4 to bring the aggregate down to 83.

      (To no $$$ effect: the game has moved 6-10M copies in its first week. A good start to the follow up its fantasy precursor, SKYRIM, which has moved 60M copies in a decade and is still outselling some new releases.)

      Crowd sourcing reviews assumes honesty from the reviewer so any such system will always be vulnerable to unscrupulous manipulators. Take any such with a pound of salt.

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