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Amazon sues alleged ‘fake comment brokers’, AppSally, Rebatest


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Packages move along a conveyor at an Amazon fulfillment center on Cyber ​​Monday in Robinsville, New Jersey, U.S., on Monday, November 29, 2021.

Michael Nagel | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Amazon Tuesday lawsuit against two firms that allegedly acted as “pseudo-review brokers”.

The lawsuits filed in King County Superior Court in Seattle accuse the two companies, AppSally and Rebatest, of encouraging fake reviews on Amazon’s online marketplace. The companies allegedly connected third-party sellers with consumers who would leave a positive review of their product, in exchange for free products or payments.

This case represents Amazon’s latest effort to Eliminate Fake Reviews in the sprawling third-party market. The market now accounts for more than half of Amazon’s e-commerce sales and has helped the company Achieving record revenue. But False reviews have been proven That could be a particularly thorny issue for Amazon as the market has grown to include millions of third-party merchants.

By filing the complaints, Amazon said it aims to “close down two major fake review brokers,” which it claims “helped mislead shoppers by having their members attempt to post fake reviews in stores” like Amazon, ebayAnd the Walmart And the etsy. AppSally and Rebatest say they have more than 900,000 users “willing to write fake reviews,” Amazon said.

Repati declined to comment. AppSally representatives did not respond to a request for comment.

AppSally and Rebatest have been in place since 2018, according to court filings. The complaint alleges that AppSally orchestrated a scheme in which sellers pay the company a fee, in some cases as low as $25, to receive “verified reviews”.

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After providing AppSally with a link to their product, sellers will ship the boxes empty and provide AppSally with photos that will be included with the user’s review. It is claimed that sellers will pay for the service in the hopes that it will boost their products in Amazon search results. AppSally’s website allegedly promised sellers that they would be able to “outperform your competitors from your bedroom,” according to the complaint.

Similarly, Rebatest offered sellers a cache of reviews and other services to manipulate the ordering of their products, the lawsuit alleges. Users will place an order for a product on Amazon and leave a review. Rebatest is purported to refund users’ purchases through services such as PayPal.

Amazon is seeking unspecified damages in both complaints, as well as an injunction from the companies that would prevent them from selling or facilitating the sale of Amazon Reviews.

Amazon is taking many steps to try to reduce fake reviews and other scams, including investments in machine learning tools and human moderators. Other social media companies have also been asked to step in and help, with fake comment communities popping up in Facebook groups and in messaging apps such as Telegram, WhatsApp and WeChat.

Watch: Amazon is full of fake reviews and it’s hard to spot them

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