Amazon Accuses Company of 5-Star Review Scam

Website offered packages of up to 100 posts for 6 online stores
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 10, 2022 4:33 PM CDT
Amazon Sues, Saying Company Sells Fake 5-Star Reviews
A 2019 photo shows customer ratings and reviews for a product.   (AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)

(Newser) – Amazon has gone to court to protect the integrity of its customers' evaluations, suing a Rhode Island company over what it says is a scheme to sell fake 5-star reviews. The lawsuit, filed in King County, Washington, accuses Trey King and his business, AuctionSentinel.com, of posting reviews that "artificially inflate sellers' feedback ratings in the Amazon.com store" and selling fraudulent "verified feedback" to retailers, Axios reports. "Defendants are actively deceiving Amazon's customers and tarnishing Amazon's brand for their own profit, as well as for the profit of dishonest sellers," the suit says.

It's been taken down now, but King's bio on his site billed him as an eCommerce business expert who's had his own stores on eBay and Amazon. "I'm an average person just like you; I just happen to have excessive knowledge of eCommerce subjects," the bio said. The site offered "Amazon feedback" packages that "make real purchases on your Amazon account and turn them into 5-Star Positive Feedback" as of early Tuesday. Prices ranged from $300 to $800, which brought 100 reviews for six online stores, per Axios. A disclaimer has been added saying, "Auctionsentinel.com does not sell product reviews." King did not answer a request for comment.

"Attempting to manipulate seller feedback is unfair to customers and to honest Amazon selling partners," an Amazon lawyer told Axios. The e-retailer last month said it had sued the administrators of some 11,000 Facebook groups over the buying and selling of fake reviews on Amazon's marketplace in seven countries, per CNN. Amazon said people were being recruited to write misleading or fake product reviews in exchange for money or free goods. (Read more Amazon reviews stories.)

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