Web

Amazon sues more than 1,000 Fiverr users offering to write fake product reviews

amazon planning new standalone music streaming service lawsuit
Ken Wolter/Shutterstock
Amazon’s fight against fake reviews rages on with a new lawsuit filed against enterprising Fiverr.com freelancers offering to write phony product reviews. The suit, filed Friday in Washington, lists more than 1,000 “John Doe” defendants by their Fiverr user names.

The lawsuit lays out a brief introduction explaining that a small minority of sellers and manufacturers sometimes use fake customer reviews to gain an unfair advantage on Amazon. “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,” according to the complaint.

Amazon goes on to point the finger directly at 1,114 John Doe defendants who sell false reviews via Fiverr, a site where people can provide various services at a starting price of $5.

“I will do, Amazon, Reviews, Amazon, Reviews, for $5,” writes Fiverr user bess98 in her gig offering, which Amazon highlights as an example in the lawsuit.

Amazon went so far as to have an investigator communicate with some Fiverr users offering to write bogus reviews. One user offered to use multiple accounts and IP addresses when writing their reviews to throw Amazon off the scent. Another user said they were willing to receive an empty envelope for the sole purpose of creating a shipping record to better fool Amazon and its customers.

“Defendants are misleading Amazon’s customers and tarnishing Amazon’s brand for their own profit and the profit of a handful of dishonest sellers and manufacturers,” the company says in the complaint. “Amazon is bringing this action to protect its customers from this misconduct, by stopping defendants and uprooting the ecosystem in which they participate.”

While the e-commerce giant goes on to say that it successfully requested the removal of individual Fiverr listings in the past, those small wins did not address the root issue “or serve as a sufficient deterrent to the bad actors engaged in creating and purchasing fraudulent product reviews.” Amazon says this new suit is meant to be the next step in a continuing fight against fake product review writers and the companies that hire them.

To be clear, Amazon is not suing Fiverr, which forbids this kind of practice on their site. The two companies are working together to resolve the issue, according to a Fiverr spokesman.

In April, Amazon filed a suit against four companies that were accused of selling counterfeit product reviews to merchants. “Most of these sites have since closed and Amazon has identified and taken action against sellers who used those sites to obtain fake reviews,” the company notes in its introduction to its latest complaint.

Web

Creators of WhatsApp attack software face lawsuit from Amnesty International

This week a spyware attack was launched on WhatsApp. Now the Israeli firm linked to that attack is facing a lawsuit from human rights NGO Amnesty International, alleging their software has been used to surveil human rights defenders.
Gaming

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (May 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Mobile

Apple might have to open iPhone to other app stores — here’s what that means

The Supreme Court ruled that an antitrust case against Apple can go ahead. The case is over whether or not Apple is a monopoly because of the way that it operates the App Store. Here's what the ruling could mean for you.
Business

Jeff Bezos breaks ground on $1.5B Amazon cargo hub for 100 Prime Air planes

Amazon has all kinds of plans to speed up delivery times, but none come bigger than the $1.5 billion air cargo hub that it's building in Kentucky for up to 100 of its Prime Air cargo planes.
Home Theater

Spotify hits repeat on its Premium special offer: $1 a month for 3 months

Back by popular demand it seems, or perhaps to bolster demand, Spotify is relaunching its $1 for three months of its Premium-tier service for anyone who has not previously signed up for a subscription, for a limited time.
Mobile

Verizon’s 5G is blazing fast on the Galaxy S10 5G, if you’re on the right block

The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G is finally here, and we went to Chicago to test its 5G connectivity capabilities on Verizon's 5G network. Like with the Moto Z3 and Moto Mod, service is still limited, but it's super fast.
Mobile

Google’s new Trips site aims to help with all of your travel planning

Google seeks to ease your travel planning with Trips, a new online site that lets you explore destinations, research airline flights, check out hotels and view current package deals.
Mobile

5G your old phone: HTC’s 5G Hub is now available for pre-order from Sprint

HTC almost made a phone. The HTC 5G Hub runs Android 9 Pie, has a Qualcomm 855 processor with the X50 modem, 4GB of RAM, and an HD touchscreen -- but it's a hot spot designed to connect to 5G networks.
Business

The 15 best tech jobs boast top salaries, high satisfaction, lots of openings

Late spring weather isn’t the only thing heating up. The technology sector offers some of the hottest jobs in the country, and talent and experience are in high demand. May is blooming with thousands of high-paying positions all over the…
Social Media

Be the master of your own Insta-verse with multiple Instagram accounts

Whether you own a small business or have separate Instagram accounts for your five cats, we'll walk you through the process of switching between your multiple accounts on your Apple or Android devices.