Fake Amazon reviews being sold online

Which? Consumer group have announced that fake reviews for products are being sold on Amazon’s marketplace. The Marketplace allows retailers to sell goods via Amazons main site. 10 websites were found to be selling these fake reviews which cost around £5 per fake review or could even be bought in packages where you could purchase 50-1,000 reviews, retailing between £620-£8,000.

The customers were exchanging goods and payments in return for their positive review on the product which violated Amazon’s terms and conditions as reviews cannot be bought. The websites investigated by Which? Even gave guides on how to write the perfect authentic review. This included having a word count target, photographs added and key words throughout, in order to remain undetected from Amazon’s suspicions.

An Amazon spokesperson said they are cracking down on these websites and accounts as they understand how much customers need to trust the reviews they are reading. He said it is a team effort with all websites and customers needing to remain vigilant and report any reviews that arise suspicion.

How to spot fake online reviews

  1. Be wary. Use your own initiative, if there’s a high number of reviews on one product but hardly any on others in this category, this may be a red flag.
  2. Look for obvious signs. Are the reviews all of similar lengths use the same type of language or key words?
  3. Look on branded websites. Check if a company is legit by checking if they have their own website and domain.
  4. Look at content. If they are all a similar length or all contain a set of pictures, this could be fake reviews. They are paid based on criteria normally length and having to add media.