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Fakespot analysis: 40% of Amazon reviews are fraudulent

Sen. Richard Blumenthal has written a letter to Amazon calling on the company to crack down on fake reviews.

News 12 Staff

Dec 6, 2022, 12:52 AM

Updated 560 days ago


An analysis claims more than 40% of reviews on Amazon are fake, which could make shopping online this holiday season harder.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal has written a letter to Amazon calling on the company to crack down on fake reviews.
According to Fakespot, a fraudulent review detection service, 42% of Amazon reviews are not real.
News 12 spoke with a Westport woman who created the blog Lemon Stripes. She has her own Amazon Storefront and makes a commission from people purchasing her picks. She says following the advice of people you trust is a good way to make your selections.
"That is actually a shocking number to me, but I guess nothing should surprise us these days," said Amazon influencer Julia Dzafic. "What I do is I just compile my favorite things from home to beauty to kids stuff, whatever we are using and I create a section in my shop on Amazon. I only pick products that we actually use, so I hope that is useful to whittle things down for people."
If a large portion of reviews are not real, how can you sift out the fake ones?
"Look at the dates of the reviews. If you see a product where there is just a big bunch of reviews in a short time, if you see 10 reviews and all of them have similar language or stilted language, that could be a cause for concern," said Teresa Murray, of consumer watchdog U.S. Public Interest Research Group.
Not all fictitious reviews are positive. Some phony reviews are from competitors.
Blumenthal is publicly calling on the e-commerce giant to crack down on those fake reviews, especially as we're in the holiday season.
The senator says he believes some reviews were written by those enticed by money or gift cards.
"Very simply, Amazon has failed...failed to stop the fake and false reviews that are rife in its site," said Blumenthal.
Blumenthal also wants Amazon to inform customers about the risks associated with phony reviews.
A spokesperson for Amazon issued the following statement to News 12:
We agree that trustworthy reviews are important for consumers and the shopping experience, and we aim to prevent fake reviews from appearing in our store. On behalf of our customers and selling partners, Amazon relentlessly innovates to allow only genuine product reviews in our store. Last year, we invested more than $900 million and employed more than 12,000 people who were dedicated to protecting customers and our store from fraud and other forms of abuse.
We want Amazon customers to shop with confidence knowing that the reviews they see are authentic and trustworthy. Our policies prohibit reviews abuse including offering incentives like gift cards to write positive reviews. When a customer reports abuse, we immediately look into it and take the necessary action against bad actors who attempt to mislead our customers and facilitate fake reviews.

Our strategy for shutting down fraudsters is working. Amazon receives millions reviews each week, and uses a combination of sophisticated technology and skilled investigators to analyze them before publication. In addition, we continue to monitor all existing reviews for signs of abuse and quickly act if we find an issue. Amazon’s expert investigators use industry-leading tools to detect and block fake reviews. As a result, Amazon proactively stopped more than 200 million suspected fake reviews in 2020 alone.
By taking legal action against these fraudsters, Amazon targets the source of the problem and sends a clear message that we will hold fake review brokers accountable. However, the nefarious business of brokering fake reviews remains an industry-wide problem, and civil litigation is only one step. Permanently ridding fake reviews across retail, travel, and other sectors will require greater public-private partnership, including collaboration between the affected companies, social media sites, and law enforcement, all focused on a goal of greater consumer protection. Amazon remains eager to continue to partner with all the relevant stakeholders to achieve that mutual goal.

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