Amazon Sues 1,114 Fiverr Users For Offering To Write Fake Product Reviews
Amazon has filed a lawsuit accusing more than 1,100 members of the freelance marketplace Fiverr of offering to post phony product reviews on Amazon.com.
As Geekwire first reported, today’s lawsuit comes on the heels of an Amazon sting operation in which the company paid some of the Fiverr members named in the suit. Posting phony reviews goes against Amazon’s terms of service, and Fiverr’s rules also ban its members from performing work that violates a third party’s terms of service. The lawsuit isn’t targeting the merchants who may have hired these defendants to post fake reviews, nor is it targeting Fiverr.
Amazon’s lawsuit names several Fiverr members that it solicited for phony reviews, including one who goes by the username bess98. This person charges $5 for an Amazon review and claims to have “more than 30+ different account and ip” — presumably from which the reviews will be posted in an attempt to avoid getting caught — and invites the merchant to write the review that will be posted. Here’s a screenshot from the page where bess98 offers this Amazon review service:
In its lawsuit today, Amazon says fake reviews like the ones that may come from the defendants are “small in number,” but “these reviews can significantly undermine the trust that consumers and the vast majority of sellers and manufacturers place in Amazon, which in turn tarnishes Amazon’s brand.”
It’s the second lawsuit Amazon has filed this year over fake reviews; back in April, the company sued websites including buyazonreviews.com and others. In its filing today, Amazon says “most of those sites have since closed and Amazon has identified and taken action against sellers who used those sites to obtain fake reviews.”