Amazon will sue 1,100 fake reviewers

65 replies
Amazon will sue 1,100 fake reviewers | The Sunday Times

It's interesting that Amazon decided to sue their fake reviewers.

Do you agree that it's about time they do something to discourage IM fraudsters?

Cheers,
SteveSki
#100 #amazon #fake #reviewers #sue
  • Profile picture of the author Paramvir Jakhar
    ya!! Right this will discourage Internet Marketers. Amazon is now a days getting very strict to scammers.
    One of my friend who is a hacker, order thousands of New launched Android Phone on Amazon (Which are very limited in market stock, But having very high demand). Amazon found him and block his all accounts. And send a notice for him.
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  • Profile picture of the author nicheblogger75
    So are they going after the people who paid to get the reviews written or the people who were paid to write the reviews, or both?

    I think it definitely opens a huge can of worms because it brings into question people and websites who sell or give reviews for monetary compensation. What does it mean for article outsourcing sites who will write product reviews in exchange for payment?

    What about people who make video reviews for anyone with $5 on Fiverr?

    I'm also wondering if this means that Amazon expects anyone who writes a review that links to an Amazon product to actually own the product? I never thought it was kosher to write reviews about products that you don't own and never used, but we all known this is done on a massive scale in just about every niche, especially MMO/biz opp.

    I think it's a good thing that Amazon is trying to stem the flow of fake reviews, but what about the hundreds of thousands of other Amazon sites that are loaded with what pretty much amounts to fake reviews? I'm also wondering what kind of success they will actually have in court because they will have to have a reason why they went after 1000 people out of the hundreds of thousands who write fake reviews for Amazon products. If you think about it, 1000 people is merely a drop in the bucket. There are probably millions upon millions of fake amazon reviews floating around on the Internet.

    Also, does this open the door for sites like Clickbank to go after affiliates who are suspected of buying reviews and writing reviews for products they don't own?

    The whole thing leaves me with many more questions than answers...
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    • Profile picture of the author 64wegrow
      Originally Posted by nicheblogger75 View Post

      What about people who make video reviews for anyone with $5 on Fiverr?
      It never ceases to amaze me how IM product owners think they can get away with paying a Fiverr guy $5 to read a pre-written script and just slap it up on You Tube.

      I mean, EVERYONE in IM knows about Fiverr these days and there are a handful of fake Fiverr review faces I see fairly frequently in You Tube reviews.

      So with that being said, I for one am not surprised Amazon is attemting to crack down on these fake reviews to try and protect the integrity of their brand.
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  • Profile picture of the author SmartTim
    I have read a lot of topreviews they are all scams and fakes. Amazon took the right action!
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeannie Crabtree
    Not sure people even read the article referred to...

    The article speaks of someone "paying false reviewers" to push the ebook to the best seller list. This is different than someone posting a review of an item from Amazon on their blog.
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    • Profile picture of the author nicheblogger75
      Originally Posted by Jeannie Crabtree View Post

      Not sure people even read the article referred to...

      The article speaks of someone "paying false reviewers" to push the ebook to the best seller list. This is different than someone posting a review of an item from Amazon on their blog.
      I understood the article but I'm left wondering what the fallout from something like this might be.

      I'm also wondering why they chose to go after the people who were paid to write the review and not just go after the person who was paying them.

      The reason I say that is because there are a lot of people who belong to websites where they get paid very little to perform certain tasks. I guess they call them microjobs maybe?

      The thing is, often these people don't know any better. They are simply responding to a post to complete a job. Many times these are people who are living in conditions of poverty and they are just trying to scratch together some extra money to improve their living conditions.

      I guess it still doesn't make the fact that they wrote fake reviews right, but maybe they figured since it was offered as a job it was legit. Let's face it, a lot of people simply don't know any better.

      I'm not saying that's what happened since I don't know the details of the lawsuit. These are just some of the questions that are bouncing around inside my head.
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  • Profile picture of the author superowid
    So Reputation Repair Project is launched now.
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    • Profile picture of the author nicheblogger75
      Originally Posted by superowid View Post

      So Reputation Repair Project is launched now.
      I'm struggling to see how your post has any relevance to this thread whatsoever.

      I'm beginning to think maybe Freelancer should just eliminate forum sigs from the WF altogether. That would eliminate all of the people who post nonsense just to rack up their post count.

      Maybe then we could get back to good, educational posts and threads and have interesting discussions about IM and it won't just be all about people trying to get their sigs seen.

      Maybe having a sig should become a paid option like the War Room.
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      • Profile picture of the author superowid
        Originally Posted by nicheblogger75 View Post

        I'm struggling to see how your post has any relevance to this thread whatsoever.

        I'm beginning to think maybe Freelancer should just eliminate forum sigs from the WF altogether. That would eliminate all of the people who post nonsense just to rack up their post count.

        Maybe then we could get back to good, educational posts and threads and have interesting discussions about IM and it won't just be all about people trying to get their sigs seen.

        Maybe having a sig should become a paid option like the War Room.
        Yes. Agree. But this forum is not only for people like you. Freelancer didn't buy WF for the reason you may think. That's if everyone who really know business can see what behind the scene is.

        So you better move on when you see people like me did that (but I didn't actually), or you can make a fortune replying to it with your own signature attached. Simply think positive and take benefit!

        Sorry, but next time you see "nonsense" post that you don't understand, just ask a simple question like "What do you mean? Can you explain?" rather than give your opinion to the poster, because then you make it more nonsense to your self.

        There's no perfect school. Students can be good, bad, lazy, genius, stupid, whatever. And so it does any teacher there. And don't forget... not all of them speak perfect and same language. So, excuse me.

        But... I still agree with your opinion to make this forum great again.
        I love paid signature. Less competition if it's going to happen here.

        Have a great day.
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  • Profile picture of the author onegoodman
    I am happy to see that, Amazon is doing it to make an example out of them. It would discourage other from doing so as they will think twice before they buy a review.
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  • Profile picture of the author ED1190
    I'm glad.

    Fake reviews/testimonials without even looking at the product itself really bothers me.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sid Hale
    There is a more detailed report available from TechCrunch here...

    Amazon Files Suit Against Individuals Offering Fake Product Reviews On Fiverr.com | TechCrunch
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    • Profile picture of the author nicheblogger75
      Originally Posted by Sid Hale View Post

      There is a more detailed report available from TechCrunch here...

      Amazon Files Suit Against Individuals Offering Fake Product Reviews On Fiverr.com | TechCrunch
      Wow. So it is as I speculated in my post earlier. They are basically going after the Fiverr sellers who posted the Gigs offering fake reviews. Damn. I'll bet there are a few Warriors who are going to get caught up in this.

      This is only the beginning, too. The article states that Amazon may be able to compel the Fiverr sellers as well as Fiverr to give them a listing of the people who ordered the Gigs.

      I get where Amazon is coming from. I really do. It's a shady practice.

      However, I kind of feel bad for the Fiverr sellers too. I mean, somebody who is trying to make $4 by selling a review on Fiverr obviously isn't somebody who's got money to burn. In fact, if you think about it, it could have been any newbie that maybe purchased some kind of a product instructing them to do something like that.

      I think maybe Amazon should focus on going after the Amazon sellers who bought the reviews and maybe Fiverr itself for facilitating the process, but not the little guy who is trying to make $4 selling them.

      I guess this goes to show you that times are indeed changing on the World Wide Web. The Wild West days of just about anything goes are quickly becoming a thing of the past. That's a good thing for the most part, I think.

      Also, from the way I understand it, Amazon is not going after people who own affiliate sites that include reviews - yet. If I was an owner of any Amazon affiliate sites, though, I think I'd be going over each and ever post with a fine-toothed comb right about now just to be on the safe side. Will Amazon decide to go after website owners who happened to unknowingly post some of those fake reviews on their websites? How about all of those plugins that pull reviews and other product info right from Amazon? Will Amazon decide to hold the plugin creators liable for helping to pull the fake reviews?

      Am I reaching here? I'm not trying to create fear, but you have to admit, those things might not be outside the realm of possibility if they would go after Fiverr sellers.

      I don't do anything with Amazon, and after this any thoughts I may have had about creating affiliate sites with Amazon products have magically disappeared from my mind. I always try to do things right, and I never post reviews about any products that I don't own. However, after this I think I'll just steer clear of Amazon entirely.
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      • Profile picture of the author DWolfe
        Originally Posted by nicheblogger75 View Post

        Wow. So it is as I speculated in my post earlier. They are basically going after the Fiverr sellers who posted the Gigs offering fake reviews. Damn. I'll bet there are a few Warriors who are going to get caught up in this.

        This is only the beginning, too. The article states that Amazon may be able to compel the Fiverr sellers as well as Fiverr to give them a listing of the people who ordered the Gigs.

        I don't do anything with Amazon, and after this any thoughts I may have had about creating affiliate sites with Amazon products have magically disappeared from my mind. .
        This could be the first warning shot's to get fiverr and the sellers there to clean up their acts. Or maybe they are going to gather enough information too see if they can prove fiverr is doing something wrong. Goolge went after the content mills, this sounds like Amazon is doing something similar with sites like fiverr.

        I wonder how many accounts are going to be banned now that once were making decent money. A lot of people put a lot of time and effort making a business off of Amazon. With this action it again makes the valid point never to have all your eggs invested in a third party company.

        Speaking of affiliate sites if you have not gone overboard and actually used the product their is nothing to worry about. It may eventually be a good boost to these sites as the crack down happens.

        Yes, it now leaves a lot of questions too be answered but it will be interesting to see how this plays out. Could open the door up too some great opportunity's in the future.
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        • Profile picture of the author quadagon
          As an author and marketer for other authors I am delighted that this clamp down is happening.

          Hopefully Amazon will find out who the 'authors' of the books are and pull there accounts as well.

          I'm an ideal world some of these authors will then give up the 'gurus' who teach these methods and also the equally repulsive author exchange networks.

          Originally Posted by DWolfe View Post

          I wonder how many accounts are going to be banned now that once were making decent money. A lot of people put a lot of time and effort making a business off of Amazon. With this action it again makes the valid point never to have all your eggs invested in a third party company.
          I think the real takeaway here is STOP DOING SHITTY MARKETING. Eventually you will get caught.

          Publish your book get real reviews from either buyers or the independent review industry (newspapers etc).

          Ultimately at the end of the day those with nothing to hide will have nothing to fear from this. It's good news for people who aren't scamming or playing the system.
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  • Profile picture of the author ED1190
    Agreed, nicheblogger.

    I don't get why they aren't going after the guy who hired them to post fake reviews in the first place. He's the main person at fault in my view.
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    • Profile picture of the author Flyingcow
      Originally Posted by ED1190 View Post

      Agreed, nicheblogger.

      I don't get why they aren't going after the guy who hired them to post fake reviews in the first place. He's the main person at fault in my view.
      Because the Amazon could remove sellers' authority of selling on amazon, or other punishments to avoid illegal actions. But the Amaozn have much less power to their customers.
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  • Profile picture of the author MuyiGam
    [DELETED]
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      We just had a thread on THIS forum this weekend advising people how to "scam Amazon"....and these "paid reviewers" are abundant on Fiverr.

      Do you agree that it's about time they do something to discourage IM fraudsters?
      Not sure what you mean by "about time" - not the first time Amazon has cracked down on products with fake reviews. They've even changed a payment system (KU) to discourage those who were gaming their system. I think Amazon will do whatever necessary to protect the integrity of their publishing business.

      Amazon is not going to let a bunch of low life "sellers" on sites like Fiverr ruin their reputation or their business model. I just hope the courts back them up on this one.

      these people don't know any better
      Yes, they do know better. They just think they will get by with it. I'm sure the sellers of the products will also get slapped (as in 'banned').

      For now, Amazon is going after those who do the work and not after Fiverr but I think it sent a clear message to Fiverr mgmt.

      These sort of gigs would be in violation of Fiverr’s Terms of Service, however, which says that gigs cannot violate a third party's terms of service.
      I predict that if Fiverr doesn't start enforcing it's own terms of service about "violations" - Amazon will file suit against Fiverr before too long. Saying you don't allow something - and then allowing it - is exactly what Fiverr does.

      I don't have any sympathy for sellers who use such tactics - or any sympathy for the "workers" who are so willing to help those sellers out...for a price.
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  • Profile picture of the author kevinfar
    Makes sense and should have been done earlier with Amazon..
    And in my opinion, other marketplaces will see this and do the same for their own marketplace.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brent Stangel
    However, I kind of feel bad for the Fiverr sellers too. I mean, somebody who is trying to make $4 by selling a review on Fiverr obviously isn't somebody who's got money to burn. In fact, if you think about it, it could have been any newbie that maybe purchased some kind of a product instructing them to do something like that.
    Ignorance of the law is no defense??

    This fits with other discussions of people who have no right being involved in "business" to start with. People who are playing with fire and they don't have a clue how badly they could get burned.

    If you are an adult and are in possession of most of your mental faculties then you are responsible for your actions.

    The retro-fitting of the Internet continues. I, for one, freakin love it!
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    • Profile picture of the author nicheblogger75
      Originally Posted by Brent Stangel View Post

      Ignorance of the law is no defense??

      This fits with other discussions of people who have no right being involved in "business" to start with. People who are playing with fire and they don't have a clue how badly they could get burned.

      If you are an adult and are in possession of most of your mental faculties then you are responsible for your actions.

      The retro-fitting of the Internet continues. I, for one, freakin love it!
      I appreciate your opinion, but you can hardly fault a person for wanting to start their own business. Usually people that have no right being in business don't have any idea that's the case.

      I'm not saying ignorance is a defense for breaking the law. In this case, though, I don't think any real laws were broken, just Amazon's TOS.

      I'm no lawyer, but I see no real repercussions coming from this as it pertains to those who were selling reviews. I think the end result is that Amazon is going to achieve what it set out to achieve and that is they will be sending a clear message that fake reviews are not a joke and could get you in legal trouble.

      However, for the sellers purchasing the reviews, and especially for affiliates who purchase fake reviews to post on their websites, there may be FTC violations. That's who I think needs to be worried the most.

      I get that selling reviews is shady, but I still think that someone with no idea what they were doing as it pertains to running an online business could easily purchase a product from a "guru" or "coach" and follow it thinking that if it is sold on a reputable marketplace that it must be a viable and legitimate strategy.

      We all know that there are lots of shady products out there that are being sold on completely reputable platforms. I know from personal experience that I've purchased quite a few products that had me completely floored after going through.

      Most of them are harmless and simply result in the buyer losing one of their accounts at Adsense, etc,. but some of them are downright dangerous.

      Don't get me wrong. I'm glad they did it. This protects everyone and most of all protects us as consumers. People spend a lot of money on Amazon. Imagine spending hundreds of dollars on a product based on the reviews you've read only to receive the product and have the product be junk because none of the positive reviews you read were real? I'd be pretty upset. I think that Amazon, being as successful as they are, gets the fact that an incident like that is enough to drive a person from never purchasing from their site again.

      It really is a very serious issue. I think another good thing that will come of it is it will help drive away the "fake it til you make it" type of marketers, and that's always a good thing.
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      • Profile picture of the author cooler1
        Originally Posted by nicheblogger75 View Post

        I appreciate your opinion, but you can hardly fault a person for wanting to start their own business. Usually people that have no right being in business don't have any idea that's the case.

        I'm not saying ignorance is a defense for breaking the law. In this case, though, I don't think any real laws were broken, just Amazon's TOS.

        I'm no lawyer, but I see no real repercussions coming from this as it pertains to those who were selling reviews. I think the end result is that Amazon is going to achieve what it set out to achieve and that is they will be sending a clear message that fake reviews are not a joke and could get you in legal trouble.

        However, for the sellers purchasing the reviews, and especially for affiliates who purchase fake reviews to post on their websites, there may be FTC violations. That's who I think needs to be worried the most.

        .....

        Don't get me wrong. I'm glad they did it. This protects everyone and most of all protects us as consumers. People spend a lot of money on Amazon. Imagine spending hundreds of dollars on a product based on the reviews you've read only to receive the product and have the product be junk because none of the positive reviews you read were real? I'd be pretty upset. I think that Amazon, being as successful as they are, gets the fact that an incident like that is enough to drive a person from never purchasing from their site again.

        It really is a very serious issue. I think another good thing that will come of it is it will help drive away the "fake it til you make it" type of marketers, and that's always a good thing.
        The problem is, regarding affiliates there is no way to verify whether someone owns the product which they are reviewing. If someone has their own pictures of the product then that provides some level of proof they own it. However, I can't see Amazon insisting that people can only promote a product if they include their own photo's of the product.

        If someone is using lots of hype in their review in attempt to sell the product, then that seems suspect, but where do you draw the line on exactly how much someone can hype a product. Unless a reviewer claims that a product can do something which it can't or they say it's the best product when it in fact isn't, then they aren't misleading their readers.
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      • Profile picture of the author DubDubDubDot
        Originally Posted by nicheblogger75 View Post

        I see no real repercussions coming from this as it pertains to those who were selling reviews.
        So then you recommend saving money on attorney fees by not responding to the lawsuit and just entering into a default judgement?



        I didn't spend much time looking, but here's one instance of a fake review provider being targeted......

        "The company agreed to pay a $43,000 fine for writing fake reviews for their own company and their clients."
        Fake Online Reviews Cost 19 Companies $350,000 | SEW
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        • Profile picture of the author nicheblogger75
          Originally Posted by DubDubDubDot View Post

          So then you recommend saving money on attorney fees by not responding to the lawsuit and just entering into a default judgement?



          I didn't spend much time looking, but here's one instance of a fake review provider being targeted......

          "The company agreed to pay a $43,000 fine for writing fake reviews for their own company and their clients."
          Fake Online Reviews Cost 19 Companies $350,000 | SEW
          No not at all. You definitely need to have an attorney. A "reputation enhancement" company that has based their entire business model around selling fake reviews and other services to make companies appear reputable is a little different than some punter selling reviews for $5 a pop on Fiverr.

          Don't get me wrong. This is serious. I'm not saying it isn't. What I meant though is I think this is more about Amazon putting a scare into people who are engaging in this behavior than it is seeking damages from people who are selling on Fiverr.

          Amazon is basically making a statement here. They're saying if you are selling fake reviews or engaging in any fraudulent behavior using their platform, sit up and take notice because this is what could happen.

          Like I said, though, I'm no lawyer. For all I know maybe they are going to seek damages. I think it's certainly going to be interesting to see this play out.

          One thing I'm sure about though is I'm damn glad I've kept my business honest and above board and wasn't engaging in this crap, and I'll bet a lot of other folks are too!
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  • Profile picture of the author JillWilson
    This will be good for lots of people.
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    • Profile picture of the author superowid
      Originally Posted by superowid View Post

      So Reputation Repair Project is launched now.
      My previous "nonsense" post above was about to say this following...

      Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

      For now, Amazon is going after those who do the work and not after Fiverr but I think it sent a clear message to Fiverr mgmt.
      I apology for my English.
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      • Profile picture of the author Kay King
        don't do anything with Amazon, and after this any thoughts I may have had about creating affiliate sites with Amazon products have magically disappeared from my mind. I always try to do things right, and I never post reviews about any products that I don't own. However, after this I think I'll just steer clear of Amazon entirely.
        In my view that is a bit of an over reaction to this news story. I think this reflects well on Amazon - they are taking steps to preserve the integrity of their website and the products sold there. That's the kind of company I want to work with.
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        • Profile picture of the author Jeff Schuman
          I agree with Kay. Good for Amazon. Google has done it as well with cancelling people from Adsense, sandboxing sites, algorithm changes and so on. Online businesses have to protect themselves from people who are always trying to take advantage of them.
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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    I think this is the bottomline to the move:
    Instead, the lawsuit’s larger goal is not about getting Fiverr to be more stringent in how it handles job listings for “product reviews,” but is rather an attempt at changing the environment as a whole. That is, once individuals realize that Amazon may sue them – not just the websites, not just the sellers – but individuals engaging in the practice, the hope is that they’ll look for different kinds of gigs in the future.
    They don't really want to go after these individual but to SCARE others from entering
    this shady business. They know that these Fiverr users are not making millions do
    this business.

    -Ray Edwards
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  • Profile picture of the author Ghoster
    Not sure there's much they can do at the end of the day. But this is a step in the right direction.

    Their brand hinges on their review system. It's in their best interest to keep it as honest as possible.
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  • Profile picture of the author 0xFF
    Yes, but 1,100 is nothing!
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      I get that selling reviews is shady
      I consider it fraudulent. It's more than "pushing a product by using false reviews" - it is deception of the buying public and that can, if carried far enough, fun afoul of federal and state laws meant to protect consumers.

      There have been marketers who went to jail for lying about a product, guaranteeing income, cookie stuffing, etc. It seems like a small problem right up until a lawsuit is filed...then it gets big fast.

      "I didn't know", "I didn't read the terms", "I thought they would give me a warning before doing anything" and the favorite "other people said it was OK" just don't hold up in court. Even if you feel you did nothing wrong - it costs a lot of money to defend yourself once you are a target.

      you can hardly fault a person for wanting to start their own business
      There is no one who can argue they believed writing a false review in order to convince people to buy a product...is an ethical business. Those who do it assume they won't be caught or there won't be consequences. Those who hired them on Fiverr assume the same. I'd be happy to see them ALL taken down.
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      • Profile picture of the author kilgore
        Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

        I consider it fraudulent. It's more than "pushing a product by using false reviews" - it is deception of the buying public and that can, if carried far enough, fun afoul of federal and state laws meant to protect consumers.
        I totally agree with Kay: It's fraud. And it needs to be stopped.

        The only thing I'd add is that even if the amount of lawsuits only represents a small portion of the total number of fake reviewers out there, it might (1) establish precedents that will make future suits such as these easier and (2) change the cost/benefit calculations for fraudsters: is it really worth a potential lawsuit (even if it's unlikely) for a $5 Fiverr gig?

        I also wouldn't mind seeing the FTC getting involved if necessary...
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          Why is your link sending me to Wiki?
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        Originally Posted by nicheblogger75 View Post

        I'm struggling to see how your post has any relevance to this thread whatsoever.
        If the general public ever gets the notion that the reviews posted on Amazon are faked, and that Amazon turns a blind eye to it, their reputation is shot.

        By taking public steps to keep things clean, they are saying "when we find problems, we take steps to stop them."

        Which makes his comment quite relevant.

        Originally Posted by ED1190 View Post

        Agreed, nicheblogger.

        I don't get why they aren't going after the guy who hired them to post fake reviews in the first place. He's the main person at fault in my view.
        Give them time. It's kind of like the drug trade - you can fill the jails with kids caught with a couple of joints in their pockets, or you can go after the suppliers. Unlike the drug trade, there are defined markets (Fiverr, in this case). Take out the "street dealers" and hold the marketplace accountable for future problems, and you eliminate a pretty good chunk of the small time buyers.

        Maybe a better analogy would be prostitution. Get the hookers off the street corners, and most of the johns will avoid the street.

        Originally Posted by cooler1 View Post

        The problem is, regarding affiliates there is no way to verify whether someone owns the product which they are reviewing. If someone has their own pictures of the product then that provides some level of proof they own it. However, I can't see Amazon insisting that people can only promote a product if they include their own photo's of the product.

        If someone is using lots of hype in their review in attempt to sell the product, then that seems suspect, but where do you draw the line on exactly how much someone can hype a product. Unless a reviewer claims that a product can do something which it can't or they say it's the best product when it in fact isn't, then they aren't misleading their readers.
        This has nothing to do with whether or not a reviewer can prove ownership. It has to do with "writers" selling fraudulent reviews and using fake buyer accounts set up solely to post those frauds.

        I can still post a review on Amazon for a product I didn't purchase on Amazon. It just won't have the "Verified Purchase" tag.
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  • Profile picture of the author DubDubDubDot
    This is what happens when you try to "get money" instead of running a real business.

    No doubt a bunch of WarriorForum members will be named in this lawsuit. If you've ever sold fake reviews on Fiverr, I'd say get the lube ready now.
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    • Profile picture of the author SunilTanna
      What you're missing from the big picture is that the previous week the same newspaper carried an expose of how they could get a rubbishy book written by a ghost writer in the philippines for a few dollars, and then get it to top of one of the kindle categories using fake reviews from fiverr for just a few dollars more.

      I think many here would agree that such practices are unethical, and when exposed, undermine people's confidence in amazon's rating systems.

      I dont know how vigorously amazon will pursue these lawsuits, but i dont think it unreasonable to think that perhaps the original newspaper story was part of the motivation for the lawsuits.
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  • Profile picture of the author writeaway
    This is definitely a step in the right direction.

    The next step is possibly a crackdown on 'review exchange' FB groups/google Plus communities.

    Now, don't get me wrong. There's a big difference between publicizing your book in a group of avid readers and review exchanges. In the former case, SOME of the readers VOLUNTARILY write reviews with NO EXPECTATION of reciprocity.

    In the latter case (composed almost exclusively of Kindle authors), people can only join such groups IF they post a review of another author's book.

    Big difference.

    Personally, I'd steer clear of review clubs OF EITHER TYPE and focus on getting reviews ORGANICALLY. Sure, this takes time but this puts pressure on authors to focus on QUALITY.

    Besides, there are a few free features that can be added to Kindle books that can lead to faster and higher volume ORGANIC reviews.
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  • Profile picture of the author art72
    So, as a whole marketers who research products, write clear, and concise reviews are not in any danger I presume, as John states above, correct?

    Personally, I have an affiliate account and haven't exactly made Amazon a major priority in my slow crawl of writing reviews, but definitely not an account I would jeopardize when I do incorporate their products into future efforts.
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  • Profile picture of the author awledd
    This has to be about product sellers not affiliates. I think affiliates are safe at least now.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      If you read the article - it's about an Amazon Kindle scam that has been happening....

      ...undercover Sunday Times investigation, in which a ghostwritten ebook was published on Amazon and fake reviewers were paid to push it to the top of....bestseller charts....
      I don't know it if was in this thread or another thread - or if thread still exists - but someone had posted the exact method for scamming in this way....

      I think it's aimed at everyone involved the scams - if you aren't cheating you don't have anything to worry about. I think the investigation was a wakeup call for Amazon and honest sellers and affiliates should be happy to see it.
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      • Profile picture of the author nicheblogger75
        Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

        If you read the article - it's about an Amazon Kindle scam that has been happening....



        I don't know it if was in this thread or another thread - or if thread still exists - but someone had posted the exact method for scamming in this way....

        I think it's aimed at everyone involved the scams - if you aren't cheating you don't have anything to worry about. I think the investigation was a wakeup call for Amazon and honest sellers and affiliates should be happy to see it.
        I agree 100%. When it comes to business, online or otherwise, honesty is always the best policy.

        The more I think about it, the more my mind is beginning to change when it comes to Amazon going after the people who are selling the fake reviews more aggressively than the sellers that are buying them.

        While I think that both parties are equally in the wrong, I think Amazon is smart to go after the people offering the review "services" because if they can put a stop to that it will make it incredibly difficult for their sellers to purchase fake reviews in the first place.

        As an affiliate (although I don't do too much with Amazon), I am incredibly happy Amazon is doing this. This action will only make it better all around for people who promote Amazon products because I think it will increase public trust in Amazon and should mean that more consumers will have confidence in Amazon. This will benefit affiliates and sellers directly because it should mean more sales and commissions for all.
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  • Profile picture of the author moneymagneto
    I'm on Craigslist sometimes and I see postings offering to pay people for reviews which isn't good for businesses. I think given that reviews can be bought the marketer has to figure out other ways to show "social proof".
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  • Profile picture of the author austria
    Banned
    The problem lies with the authors of books who are buying the fake reviews. These authors are the fraudsters which are deceiving the public and they should be the ones sued, because they make the largest profits from these fake reviews that they buy
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  • Profile picture of the author raaz004
    I think that it will be right thinking !!!
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    • Profile picture of the author Tina Golden
      Originally Posted by raaz004 View Post

      I think that it will be right thinking !!!
      Considering your signature -

      ~~I am professional online worker~~
      I offer for only $5 : review anywhere such podcast,site,store etc ,,, psd to html ,,, all exclusive other GO..]
      And your gig -

      I will review Once anywhere in Canada & USA,England (on anything you want). You can also provide me your own review, if you want and I will post it on your desired place. I believe in quality work & customer satisfaction.

      I am two years experienced and can review your company, blog, product, website, business, ebook, kindle, book, application, software, audio, video, music, podcast
      I'm thinking you didn't understand the initial post.
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    • Profile picture of the author nicheblogger75
      Originally Posted by raaz004 View Post

      I think that it will be right thinking !!!
      Seriously? Did you read even one post in this thread? Maybe you should go back and at least read the first post in the thread.

      I'm not sure if you realize this but your sig link goes to a Fiverr Gig in which you are offering to do exactly what Amazon hates.

      This is from your Gig description:

      You can also provide me your own review, if you want and I will post it on your desired place.
      I am two years experienced and can review your company, blog, product, website, business, ebook, kindle, book...

      So you are offering to allow the seller to provide you with a review of their own product and then you will post it wherever they want you to? Is that a fair assumption?

      Let me ask you this, then. If the buyer of your Gig provided you with a review for their new Kindle listing and wanted you to post it on Amazon for them, would you do it?

      I'm on the edge of my seat waiting for this answer.
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      • Profile picture of the author Tina Golden
        I see the room still echoes.

        :
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  • Profile picture of the author brunski57
    Yes they Should. I do read the reviews. Gets lots of good info. However I do catch people who write a review and they Have Not purchased the product! I do report abuse when called for.
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  • Profile picture of the author Seantrepreneur
    I think this is great in terms of trying to legitimize things, but let's be realistic here. None of the big boys are going to fiverr to get fake reviews. They are going to the facebook groups or services like ZonBlast that offer "unbiased" reviews in exchange for product. They want hundreds of 4-5 reviews. They aren't going to take their time buying 100 gigs on Fiverr.

    While this is definitely a step in the right direction, there still is a lot of work that needs to be done in the "fake" review space. Once that's done the private label game is going to turn on it's head.
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    • Profile picture of the author SmartTim
      Originally Posted by Seantrepreneur View Post

      I think this is great in terms of trying to legitimize things, but let's be realistic here. None of the big boys are going to fiverr to get fake reviews. They are going to the facebook groups or services like ZonBlast that offer "unbiased" reviews in exchange for product. They want hundreds of 4-5 reviews. They aren't going to take their time buying 100 gigs on Fiverr.

      While this is definitely a step in the right direction, there still is a lot of work that needs to be done in the "fake" review space. Once that's done the private label game is going to turn on it's head.
      Well, it is fair. For example, if you want to buy a watch on Amazon, and you read someone fake review, you bought the item, you receive the item which is not as reviewed. This way, it is more like a scam. Amazon done something right!
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      • Profile picture of the author Seantrepreneur
        Originally Posted by SmartTim View Post

        Well, it is fair. For example, if you want to buy a watch on Amazon, and you read someone fake review, you bought the item, you receive the item which is not as reviewed. This way, it is more like a scam. Amazon done something right!
        Yeah, it's definitely fair.

        I guess my point is also that the review groups are just about as close to buying reviews as you can get. Some will even tell the reviewers that if they aren't going to give a 4 or 5 star review to just not leave one.

        While they're not directly paying for the review they just giving something for it almost like a barter deal.

        I'm interested to see where that goes in the future!
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  • They appear to be going after folks on fiver. If the reviewers are located in other countries other than the US, they probably don't have anything to worry about.
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  • Profile picture of the author epitome
    Are they also going after negative reviews dropped on your competition?
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    • Profile picture of the author nicheblogger75
      Originally Posted by epitome View Post

      Are they also going after negative reviews dropped on your competition?
      They should. IMO that's worse than buying fake reviews for your own products.
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      • Profile picture of the author ED1190
        Originally Posted by nicheblogger75 View Post

        They should. IMO that's worse than buying fake reviews for your own products.
        It's definitely way worse cause you're intentionally screwing someone else.
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  • Profile picture of the author rulesforrebels
    There's a PDF document online which has the court documents and shows all 1,114 Fiverr aliases. It looks like all those accounts have already been closed. A quick search on Fiverr does pull up dozens of Amazon review gigs still though.
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    • Profile picture of the author Sarevok
      Originally Posted by rulesforrebels View Post

      There's a PDF document online which has the court documents and shows all 1,114 Fiverr aliases. It looks like all those accounts have already been closed. A quick search on Fiverr does pull up dozens of Amazon review gigs still though.
      Amazon made the listing public.

      See "exhibit A" in the following document:

      https://www.scribd.com/doc/285431272...view-Complaint
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      • Profile picture of the author nicheblogger75
        Originally Posted by Sarevok View Post

        Amazon made the listing public.

        See "exhibit A" in the following document:

        https://www.scribd.com/doc/285431272...view-Complaint
        Very interesting. Looks like Amazon is indeed seeking damages from the defendants in this case, including legal fees and all profits gained from providing false reviews. Right now, though, it seems they do not have the defendants actual identities, just Fiverr account names.

        After looking at some of the screen shots of the Gig descriptions, it seems to me this reeks of one of those "copy & paste" Fiverr courses. In other words I'm thinking that someone put out a course on how to do this since many of the descriptions are quite similar. Seems pretty unlikely that so many people would just come up with that type of Gig on their own.

        I'm definitely very interested to see how this is going to play out.
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        • Profile picture of the author DubDubDubDot
          Originally Posted by nicheblogger75 View Post

          After looking at some of the screen shots of the Gig descriptions, it seems to me this reeks of one of those "copy & paste" Fiverr courses. In other words I'm thinking that someone put out a course on how to do this since many of the descriptions are quite similar. Seems pretty unlikely that so many people would just come up with that type of Gig on their own.
          Another "internet marketing" success story.

          How many of these 1,100 people being sued can retrace their steps back to this forum? This isn't the kind of thing that would have a big $500 launch. It reeks of $7 WSO's.
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          • Profile picture of the author nicheblogger75
            Originally Posted by DubDubDubDot View Post

            Another "internet marketing" success story.

            How many of these 1,100 people being sued can retrace their steps back to this forum? This isn't the kind of thing that would have a big $500 launch. It reeks of $7 WSO's.
            My thinking exactly. However, like somebody pointed out earlier, just because someone saw it in a product doesn't mean they should not be held liable themselves. People should not assume that just because a product says it's fine to do that it is. You must still do your own due diligence before implementing any system, technique, or method taught by others.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sarevok
    Only verified buyers should be able to review any product, period.

    For websites such as Yelp, well that could prove to be difficult.

    (Actually, maybe they could have some type of app that determines whether or not you have been within the proximity of said location? Lol. Definitely feasible, and a million dollar idea. Yelp, if you read this contact me so I may obtain royalties).

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  • I like it. As someone who sells products on Amazon, and who also buys products on Amazon, I expect the reviews to be legit. This protects both the buying public and the sellers. This can only be a good thing as the review system was never intended to be a place for scam artists but a place where honest reviews can help a researching consumer make a decision based on legitimate experiences.
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  • Profile picture of the author aronprins
    Very interesting topic, and curious about the outcome.
    This had to happen sooner or later, right?

    Cheers,
    Aron
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