Top Amazon UK reviewers seem to have gotten involved in the scams, leaving thousands of five-star ratings in exchange for money or free products. The company canceled 20,000 product reviews After his investigation Financial times.
Justin Fryer, Amazon UK’s top reviewer, left the five-star rating once every four hours on average in August, according to FTanalyzing. Many of these reviews of products from Chinese companies were random. It appears the fryer has resold products on eBay.
Scams like this usually start on social networks and messaging apps like Telegram, where companies can meet potential reviewers. Once the contact is made, the reviewer selects a free product, then waits a few days to write a five-star review. After a review is published, they get a full response and, at times, an extra payment.
Amazon has a specific rule against posting reviews in exchange for “compensation of any kind (including free or discounted products) or on behalf of anyone else.” But nine of the UK’s top 10 reviewers appear to have broken this guideline and engaged in suspicious activity. The 20,000 removed reviews were written by seven of the top 10 reviewers.
The company was alerted to Fryer activity in early August. At least one Amazon user has reported the man’s questionable ratings to CEO Jeff Bezos. This user was told that the company would investigate, although it failed to take action to date.
Fryer asserts that he definitely wasn’t paid to post fake five-star reviews, and says his eBay listings for “unused” and “unopened” products were additions, according to Times.
Regardless, his activity isn’t overly surprising. Fake reviews have been a problem with Amazon for years. In July, Coding Found Sellers have engaged in a variety of tactics aimed at manipulating their ratings on the platform, including “review hijacking” where old reviews are attached to new products that often have nothing to do with it.
During the coronavirus pandemic, as more people shop online, the problem has worsened. In May, 58 percent of products on Amazon in the UK appeared to contain fake reviews, according to Fakespot, a company that analyzes rating fraud. “The scale of this fraud is staggering,” said Fakespot CEO Saud Khalifa. Financial times. “Amazon UK has a much higher rate of fake reviews than other platforms.”
In a statement emailed to the edgeAn Amazon spokesperson said the company analyzes reviews before they are released to the public and processes 10 million submissions each week. “We want Amazon customers to shop with confidence knowing that the reviews they’re reading are original and relevant,” they said. “We have clear policies for both reviewers and selling partners that prohibit misuse of our community features, and we suspend, prohibit, and take legal action against those who violate these policies.”
Update, 7:21 pm ET: This story has been updated to include a statement from Amazon.