Amazon sues 10,000 Facebook group admins over fake review scheme – NBC Chicago
Amazon has filed a lawsuit against the administrators of more than 10,000 Facebook groups which it accuses of coordinating fake reviews in exchange for money or free products.
The Seattle-based e-commerce giant said in a statement on its website on Tuesday that the Facebook groups were created to recruit people “willing to post inciting and misleading reviews” at its stores in the United States, the United Kingdom UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Japan.
The problem of fake reviews isn’t new to Amazon, or to e-commerce as a whole. Amazon itself has already sued people it says offered false testimonials, though lawmakers and regulators have questioned whether the company is doing enough to combat the problem. Last year, UK competition regulators launched an investigation into whether the online retailer and Google were taking adequate steps to protect shoppers.
In the statement, Amazon said one of the Facebook groups it targets, called “Amazon Product Review,” has more than 43,000 members. The company said Facebook removed the group this year, but was able to dodge the platform’s detection by “changing the letters in phrases that could set off Facebook’s alarms.”
Amazon noted that since 2020 it has reported more than 10,000 fake review groups to Meta, Facebook’s parent company. Meta has removed half of those groups and is investigating the rest, Amazon said.
The retailer’s announcement comes as another aspect of the company’s operations is coming under greater scrutiny. On Tuesday, federal labor officials confirmed to the AP that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration had opened inspections at Amazon facilities in New York, Illinois and Florida after receiving referrals alleging safety and health violations from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. .
Nicholas Biase, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New York, said federal labor officials entered Amazon warehouses on Monday morning after their office made referrals about “potential workplace hazards.” work,” including “the work rate required by Amazon for its warehouse workers.”
Biase said the Civil Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office is investigating security risks at the company’s warehouses across the country, as well as “fraudulent conduct designed to conceal injuries from OSHA and others”. The office encourages current and former Amazon warehouse workers to report workplace safety issues directly to them.