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Feb 1, 2022
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UK's High Court shuts down fake Amazon reviews ring

Published
Feb 1, 2022

A fake Amazon review ring run from Germany has been shut down following a legal challenge in the British courts, reported The Telegraph.


Reuters


The High Court has issued injunctions against three companies that offered to boost Amazon sellers’ star ratings using a network of thousands of purportedly authentic reviewers.

The court win for the online retail giant comes at a time when the business is under increasing pressure over how it deals with fake reviews. The Competition and Markets Authority is investigating both Amazon and Google over concerns they do not do enough to protect shoppers.

The three companies based in Malta and Mallorca traded as AMZTigers and Testerjob promised to boost sellers’ items in search results by flooding them with five-star reviews.

The injunction banned the companies from brokering reviews in the UK and said “any person [breaking the order] may be imprisoned, fined or have their assets seized”. It is believed to be the first time the UK courts have issued such an injunction.

AMZTigers, who claimed 20,000 reviewers in the UK and 62,000 globally, would give products five-star reviews under marketing schemes. 

The reviewers would purchase assigned products on Amazon and then review them, making them appear authentic, but be reimbursed, effectively getting free items in exchange for reviews.

Company records show the operations are linked to Norbert Weber, a Berlin-based internet marketing entrepreneur who also runs W3 Internet Marketing, a search engine optimisation business.

Weber did not respond to a request for comment the newspaper.

But Amazon UK chief, John Boumphrey, told The Telegraph: “We devote significant resources to preventing fake and incentivised reviews from appearing on Amazon. It’s absolutely crucial in earning the trust of our customers. This lawsuit makes clear that fraud will not be tolerated in our store and we won’t hesitate in pursuing fake review brokers through the UK courts.”

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