Fake reviews on Amazon are worse than ever

According to recent reports from ReviewMeta, fake product reviews on Amazon are more prevalent than ever and are a large problem consumers have to navigate through on the site.


ReviewMeta pools data and weighs the trustworthiness of a review based on statistics and a proprietary algorithm. The site scans Amazon products and then provides an adjusted product review for products that have been flagged as having fake reviews.

In recent months ReviewMeta has seen an exponential increase in five star reviews churned out for products within hours of them becoming available for sale on Amazon's marketplace. This frequency combined with unnaturally worded reviews that read more like a product manual than an actual consumer's post have signaled an uptick in fake reviews.

Fake reviews have always been a problem Amazon has had to navigate. Until last year, the site allowed what it called "incentivized reviews."

Similar to the new FTC rules requiring disclosure of sponsored posts on Instagram, reviewers on Amazon had to make clear that they were compensated with free or discounted product for their review. Amazon ultimately banned incentivized reviews when too many flooded the site.

Unfortunately there is a large game of catch up that Amazon will have to play to crack down on fake reviews. Vendors are creative about how they solicit the inauthentic reviews. Many go to Facebook and other social media channels to offer full product refunds in exchange for a review.

A spokesperson for Amazon told Forbes that, "We have brought lawsuits against over 1,000 defendants for reviews abuse and we will continue to pursue legal action against the sellers and manufacturers who create the demand for these types of reviews as well as the ecosystem of individuals and organizations who supply reviews in exchange for compensation of any type."

While most reviews on Amazon are still genuine, ReviewMeta found that reviews left in 2016 or later tend to raise more flags.

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