Amazon filed its third round of lawsuits against purveyors of fake product reviews last week.
Amazon is suing five more sites in its ongoing legal campaign against fake product reviews — this time targeting the alleged operators of “Amazon Verified Reviews,” “Buy Amazon Reviews,” “Paid Book Reviews” and other online sites that Amazon sellers can pay to post positive reviews of their products.
“A very small minority of sellers and manufacturers attempt to gain an unfair competitive advantage by creating false, misleading, and inauthentic customer reviews for their products on Amazon.com,” the suit says. “While small in number, these reviews threaten to undermine the trust that customers, and the vast majority of sellers and manufacturers, place in Amazon, thereby tarnishing Amazon’s brand.”
The sites, some of which are still online, make no effort to hide what they do.
“We offer Amazon product reviews, as well as Amazon verified reviews and Amazon kindle reviews,” reads the FAQ on Buy Amazon Reviews.” All you need to do is simplybuy Amazon reviews from us, and we will post super positive reviews on your products. We will obviously also leave 4 and 5 star ratings on them, depending on your instructions.”
Filed last week, the lawsuit follow similar lawsuits filed in October 2015 and April 2015 against other alleged sellers of fake Amazon reviews. It alleges violation of consumer protection laws, intentional interference with contractual relations, trademark infringement, and other claims. Amazon is seeking unspecified financial damages and assistance from the defendants in identifying their customers, the manufacturers and Amazon sellers who allegedly paid for the fake reviews.
The latest round of suits closely echo the ones filed last April, while the suits filed six months ago sought to identify the defendants who allegedly sold reviews through the Fiverr marketplace.
No clue what October's lawsuit will cover, but the odds are good that Amazon will continue to file lawsuits. Fake reviews are a persistent problem which have inspired the invention of 3rd-party detection services like Fakespot, and getting rid of the fake reviews has turned into a game of whack-a-mole.
image by Jeff Kontur