Underhand businesses still tout for fake reviews on Amazon

Amazon removes a ton of fake reviews on Amazon marketplaces, but that still doesn’t appear to deter unscrupulous merchants from attempting to buy reviews to boost the popularity and ranking of their products. We’ve heard from users who are still receiving requests to buy reviews in return for free products, or rather a refund after they’ve left a review.

These requests for fake reviews on Amazon often take place in hidden Facebook groups but are now being spotted as un-solicited sponsored messages. Products are being advertised with items pimped with 50% or 100% off and as soon as you click a chatbot opens offering a full refund via PayPal but only after you’ve purchased on Amazon and left a ‘good’ review.

“We are looking for our official influencer!
What we offer for our influencers:
1.new product like snorkel mask to test
2.you will have the opportunity to be our brand influencer and get exclusive discounts on all our products”

– Amazon seller on Facebook phishing for fake reviews

If you fall for the click bait you’ll discover that all being an ‘official influencer’ consists of is buying a product, leaving fake reviews on Amazon and receiving a full refund via PayPal.

“Hi xxxxxx, thanks for contacting.we are looking for tester to test our product,first need to have an Amazon account to buy it on Amzon and leave good review and we will refund you after review via pp.DO YOU AGREE THIS METHOD?
— Yes, I agree
— NO,sorry”

– Fake reviews on Amazon Facebook hosted Chatbot

One might imagine that there’s a chance that you could buy the product, leave a review and never receive a refund – why should you trust someone who’s business ethics are so underhand? Surprisingly though, refunds appear to be regularly paid as it’s good business and the only reason they want you to buy the product rather than give you it for free is that it then counts as a review for a verified purchase on Amazon and, at least to the casual observer, appears genuine.

Amazon’s help page clearly states that fake reviews on Amazon are banned.

“Although products may be provided to customers for free or at a discount, and those customers may write reviews, any attempt to influence or manipulate reviews is prohibited, including conditioning any future benefit on writing a review or the content of the review. Benefits include but are not limited to: future opportunities to receive free or discounted products, continued membership in a programme or club, cash rebates or gift certificates, entry into contests or sweepstakes, bonus digital content or credits, and ratings or referrals that may affect the recipient’s chances of receiving other benefits.”
– About Customer Reviews, Amazon help page

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Market places love the chinese sellers and this is what they do, along with fakes and dangerous goods. Location abuse and tax fraud. This is what buyers want apparantly and with no one to stop them these merchants are taking over. Ebay is unrecognisable from 5 years ago.

Ifellow • 23rd October 2019 •

I fully agree, we are finding business harder and harder competing against Chinese sellers doing just this. Amazon's recent need for VAT registration has helped a little but eBay don't do anything even when pointed out to them directly. I emailed Rob Hatrell at eBay highlighting VAT fraud, multiple accounts selling the same item, etc etc but nothing changes. In the end it may possibly be their own demise when all that will be left is Chinese low quality goods, late delivery, poor choice and poor customer services.

Simon • 23rd October 2019 •

I am in a facebook group for Amazon sellers, to help each other (not in this way). But we are constantly spammed by Chinese/Asian sellers that are offering to pay for reviews. It is actually a battle to remove all of their posts every day.

Tomas • 24th October 2019 •