Amazon has launched a lawsuit against the administrators of what it says are more than 10,000 Facebook groups intended to coordinate fake Amazon product reviews.

The company alleges that those in charge of groups look for reviews for items ranging from camera tripods to car stereos in return for free products or money.

The illegal activity happens throughout Amazon’s stores in the US, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and Japan.

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Fake reviews are used to enhance product ratings and increase the possibility that buyers might buy them.

Amazon Vice President Dharmesh Mehta said in the statement that the case indicates “proactive legal action targeting bad actors.”

Inauthentic reviews have plagued Amazon for years.

During the pandemic, shoppers rushed to e-commerce sites, resulting in increased review manipulation and customer discontent.

Last year, the UK’s antitrust authority initiated an investigation into whether Amazon and Alphabet subsidiary Google are doing enough to combat fake reviews.

“Amazon Product Review” – One of the Facebook groups – has almost 43,000 members.

Amazon alleges Facebook deleted the group this year after it eluded detection by rearranging letters in phrases that would set off Facebook’s sensors.

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Amazon did not provide the identities or locations of the Facebook group admins.

The claim was filed in Washington state’s King County Superior Court, the Seattle-based firm said.

A Meta spokeswoman said: “Groups that solicit or encourage fake reviews violate our policies and are removed.

“We are working with Amazon on this matter and will continue to partner across the industry to address spam and fake reviews.”

In a letter to then-CEO Jeff Bezos in 2019, US legislators questioned Amazon’s attempts to combat fraudulent reviews.

In its first lawsuit against the use of fraudulent purchased reviews, the Federal Trade Commission punished a retail website that paid a third party to write reviews on Amazon in 2019.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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