Fake Reviewers Striking At Amazon

Amazon assures customers they make every effort to ensure reviews of products posted online are authentic, but a British consumer group called “Which?” looked into complaints of fake five-star reviews of electronic products and found hundreds of accounts had left reviews within hours of each other without purchases. They call that a tell-tale sign of a fake review.

James Brains writes for Business Insider and is a freelance product reviewer who says our confidence on comments left by previous customers tends to be well-placed, though some bad apples get through the screen. “You need to be somewhat savvy, though. There are a lot of companies out there that influence reviews, and though it’s against Amazon policy, they will pay people to write reviews.” Brains says he’s had manufacturers who have approached him asking for reviews under shady circumstances, but he says they are the exception not the norm. His top piece of advice: “Looking for a verified purchaser is important.” Right beneath the stars of the review, it will read “verified purchase.”

Another tip Brains offers is checking the dates. “If you see a bunch of five-star reviews and they were all submitted within a few days of each other, that’s a sure sign the company has hired a firm to do five-star reviews,” he cautions.

Close-up of sign with logo on facade of the regional headquarters of ecommerce company Amazon in the Silicon Valley town of Sunnyvale, California

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