Amazon Files First Criminal Complaint In Europe Against Fake Reviews

Amazon, which is continuing its legal fights against fake reviews, has filed its first criminal complaint and its first lawsuit in Europe. The E-commerce giant filed a criminal complaint in Italy and its first lawsuit in Spain aiming to shut down fake review brokers.

The company recently had filed 10 new lawsuits in the United States.

With the move, Amazon targets bad actors that operate more than 11,000 websites and social media groups that attempt to orchestrate fake reviews on Amazon and other stores in exchange for money or free products.

Amazon’s first criminal complaint in Europe targets a high-profile broker in Italy selling fake reviews. The defendant claims to have built a network of individuals who are willing to buy products on Amazon and post 5-star reviews in exchange for a full refund. In this type of crime in Italy, convicted individuals may be subject to imprisonment and fines.

The company also filed its first civil complaint in Spain against the fake review broker, Agencia Reviews, who targets sellers and customers of and communicates though the instant messaging service Telegram to evade detection. The suspected fraudster has been found to fully reimburse customers once they publish a fake 5-star review.

In the U.S., Amazon recently filed 10 more lawsuits against fake review brokers and other bad actors attempting to game Amazon’s ratings systems. Amazon also sent warning letters to five websites based in Germany that were directing visitors to a fake review broker. All five websites have since agreed to stop this activity by signing a cease and desist letter, it said.

Dharmesh Mehta, Amazon’s Vice President of Selling Partner Services, said, “In addition to continuing to advance our robust detection and prevention of fake reviews in our store, Amazon will remain relentless in identifying and enforcing against bad actors that attempt to engage in review abuse…. We continue to improve our proactive controls, invent new technologies and machine learning to detect bad actors, and find new ways to hold them accountable.”

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