Amazon files suit against 1,000 people for fake reviews
BY KEITH WAGSTAFF, NBC News
(NBC News) - Amazon has filed a lawsuit against more than 1,000 people who offered to write fake reviews for a price.
The lawsuit, filed Friday, targets users of Fiverr.com, an online marketplace where you can take on "gigs" such as designing a logo or writing a press release for $5.
Amazon found that people were offering to write positive reviews of products they had never used, most often with text supplied by the seller.
Sometimes, Amazon claimed, they would go so far as to receive empty envelopes in the mail to make it seem like they were actually shipped a product.
"While small in number, these reviews can significantly undermine the trust that consumers and the vast majority of sellers and manufacturers place in Amazon, which in turn tarnishes Amazon's brand," reads the complaint.
One small barrier to successfully suing the offending sellers: Despite corresponding with some of them, Amazon doesn't know their true identities. Hiding behind user names, some of them promised to use multiple Amazon accounts and IP addresses to leave more than one fraudulent review.
Fiverr wouldn't comment on whether it would help Amazon uncover the real identities of users, but the company did say it would continue to ban sellers who sold fake reviews.