After more than 1,100 members of Fiverr, a freelance marketplace, of offering to post phony product reviews on Amazon.com, Amazon has filed a lawsuit against them.
According to a report last week by Geekwire, the lawsuit came on the heels of an Amazon sting operation in which the company paid some members of Fiverr to write reviews. In Amazon’s terms of service, users aren’t allowed to post phony reviews. The ironic part of this scenario is that Fiverr’s rules ban their members from performing work that violates a third party’s terms of service. In the lawsuit, the targets don’t include the merchants who hired the defendants, nor are they targeting Fiverr itself, just the writers themselves.
Several Fiverr member were named in the Amazon lawsuit that it solicited for phone reviews. One of the individuals named went by the username, bess98. This user charged $5 for an Amazon review. Bess98 also claimed to have “more than 30+ different account and ip.” This is probably so that the user has less chance of getting caught, since it makes one person look like many. Merchants are invited to write the review that will be posted. The following image is a screenshot is from the bess98’s page where the Amazon review service is offered:
Amazon said that fake reviews that come from individuals like bess98 are “small in number,” although understandably, the “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.”