|Tue Oct 13 2020 23:49:15|
Amazon Review Scam Harms Innocent Sellers
By: Ina Steiner
There's a new twist on the old Amazon review scam that relies on Facebook Groups to carry out the campaign. Readers might remember Amazon's 2018 crackdown
in which it suspended thousands of shoppers for violating its policy that bans users from receiving compensation for leaving reviews.
The problem of paid reviews is ongoing - just last week, the Verge
wrote an article about it: "Amazon is trying to crack down on fraudulent reviews. They're thriving in Facebook groups."
But according to sellers on a thread on the Amazon boards
, there's a twist to the paid-review problem: not only are some sellers paying for their own
products to get good
reviews, it appears some are impersonating their rivals to get them in trouble with customers and with Amazon.
A seller said he was getting complaints from customers because a Facebook page promised that if they purchased his products, they would get a refund without returning the product even if they left a negative review.
His theory: "These Facebook pages are a scam, as I have never offered any type of refund on our official Facebook page. Our product is on the first page, and apparently our competitors are trying to hurt our products/account by making my customers angry so they complain and leave negative reviews."
One seller had a suggestion for Amazon: "Look at the seller's account, see which buyers are complaining, and with the knowledge that each and every one of those buyers are violating their TOS with Amazon by being compensated for reviews (outside of Vine), at a minimum, they could castigate those buyers."
Recent allegations by Federal prosecutors show the lengths sellers (and/or those acting on their behalf) will go to get a leg up on the competition - see the section, "Facilitating attacks against competitors" in last month's Department of Justice press release
It's a dog-eat-dog world on Amazon and the wider Web.