Amazon is stepping up its efforts to stop people from posting phony product reviews on its website.
More than 1,000 people are being sued by the online store for allegedly misleading honest customers by posting fake product reviews in order to get people to buy certain products. The lawsuit is taking place in a Seattle court.
According to the lawsuit, users on Fiverr.com are hiring people to post the reviews. On Fiverr, users can hire other people to do various odd-jobs for as little as $5.
Since Amazon does not know the names of the people involved, the defendants are all listed as “John Doe” in the lawsuit.
This is not the first time that this has happened. In April, Amazon sued several other websites for selling fake reviews that were posted on Amazon. According to Amazon, most of these websites have since been shut down.
Amazon says that this latest lawsuit is taking the next logical step by targeting individual reviewers and the people who hired them.
Amazon’s complaint says, “Most of the defendants offer positive or 5-star reviews for Amazon sellers' products. Indeed, many encourage the Amazon seller to create the text for their own reviews.”
Reports indicate that users of Fiverr did everything they could in order to avoid detection by Amazon. They even made different accounts using multiple IP addresses.
There were even cases where reviewers became “verified purchasers” by receiving an empty envelope from a company without actually receiving a product in order to establish a shipping record.
Fiverr says that they do not allow such behavior. The website has not stated whether or not they will cooperate with the case.