And the fake review news keeps on coming…
Over the weekend it was announced that investigators at the consumer rights watchdog Which? have revealed large and active ‘fake review factories’ operating on Facebook, with a combined membership of up to 87,000 users churning out falsified five star ratings for pay on a regular basis.
The two biggest groups – Amazon Deals Group and Amazon UK Reviewers – post requests for members to leave five star ratings for products on Amazon. To bypass Amazon’s security filters, users must purchase items, after which – having left seemingly genuine five-star reviews – they are remunerated, with an additional ‘fee’ if their words are deemed to be sufficiently glowing.
In spite of Facebook’s claim that “Facilitating or encouraging the trade of fake user reviews is not permitted on Facebook“, the scale and open activity revealed by the investigation suggest that whatever regulatory practices are in place are simply not working.
Alex Neil, managing director of home products and services at Which?, commented that those involved were “ripping people off” intentionally.
For further reading on the issue from us, check out our previous posts covering consumer fraud cases involving Amazon and Trip Advisor: