How to spot fake reviews on Amazon – and how to report them – Wales Online

The reviews section on website marketplaces such as Amazon are usually deemed to be a savvy first stop for any consumer ahead of making a purchase. 

However, a rise in fake reviewing sites has lead to billions of pounds being duped out of customers and businesses alike every year across online marketplaces, according to the Competition and Markets Authority. 

Consumer advice specialist Alice Beer appeared on ITV’s This Morning to reveal the cunning tricks and tips fake reviewers use to mislead customers and how you can spot them.

Image shows a number of Amazon parcels on a conveyor belt
Generic photo of Amazon boxes on a conveyor belt at a fulfilment centre

Speaking to hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield, Alice revealed social media groups were fast becoming hot beds for the rise in fake reviews across marketplace websites like Amazon. 

She revealed she was asked to choose from a range of products and leave a fake, five star review on Amazon, in exchange for getting her money back, and the product for free: 

“I requested to join the group, which they accepted me into. 

“They then sent me a list of products which I could choose from on Amazon, and then I would have to purchase the product, review it with five stars, obviously, and then they would refund me the cost of the product, via PayPal.

Alice Beer pictured on the This Morning sofa with an image of 'Alice Investigates Fake Reviews' on a TV screen behind her
Alice Beer reveals how social media groups are causing an influx of fake reviewers to target Amazon products

“So you’ve got the product for free, which people will either sell or they could return it to Amazon… or they could sell it on eBay or any marketplace and it makes a whole nonsense and mockery out of the review system.”

Phil went on to ask Alice if there were some products more likely to being targeted by fake reviewers, to which Alice revealed there were: 

“Cheap tech. Wireless headphones, they’re really susceptible to it.

“Copies of chargers for well known phone brands, phone cases, anything that’s cheap tech.

“Also make-up, vitamins, vitamin tablets which are reporting to do wonderful things, they are more prone to fake reviews. 

“I do have to say, this is not just Amazon.” 

Alice also revealed rival businesses also target each other – but this time, by leaving fake one star reviews to deter real buyers. 

Both fake five star and one star reviews can be avoided by following the tips below.

Alice’s tips for spotting fake reviews are:

Look for the ‘Verified’ stamp next to the name of the reviewer on the product you’re looking to buy – if it’s not there, it could be just anybody leaving a fake review 

Check if reviews are similar or the same – many fake reviewers have a habit of copy and pasting the same or slightly similar reviews as each other, so check if the product you’re looking at has similar responses  

Click on the reviewers – If a reviewer has left a high number of reviews over a short period of time, they’re unlikely to be trustworthy  

Look elsewhere – Check a sites policy for reviews and if you’re concerned, go to a site which only lets verified purchasers leave a review of the product  

In response to the This Morning investigation, Amazon revealed they review 10 million submissions every week to try and identify fake reviewers and encourage people to report anyone they feel is abusing the system. 

You can report a review you think could be fake or misleading by:

– Reporting the review to community-help@amazon.com 

– You can also click on the ‘Report Abuse’ button which is at the bottom of every review on Amazon 

Alice added: “Once you’re savvy to the system, the good guys will stick out, and the bad ones you can ignore.”


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