Amazon Deleted 20 000 Fake Reviews Following Investigation by the Financial Times

The comments belonged to 7 out of 10 of's top reviewers

Amazon deleted some 20 000 fraudulent reviews from a number of reviewers following an investigation that unearthed suspicious activity among Amazon reviewers.

Last week the the Financial Times discovered at least seven of Amazon’s top 10 reviewers in the UK had been engaged in “suspicious activity,” or, more accurately, had been dishing out five-star reviews in return for free products from companies. No hashtag ad here, mind, because taking payment for reviews on Amazon’s platform is strictly prohibited.

Namely, the FT found Amazon’s number one ranked reviewer, Justin Fryer, had been profiting from giving companies five-star reviews and selling on the freebies on eBay. He denies this claim, stating that the products he sells on eBay are all duplicates – though his reviews directly correspond to his listings, which he only seems to review the outside of (as well as packaging) and he deleted his entire review history after being contacted by the paper.

Fryer was found to have left a five-star review every four hours during the month of August, mostly of comments from seemingly random, small Chinese companies. (He says, as his wife is Chinese, he knows “a lot of the businesses over there” and has relationships with many of the sellers). It also appears that the FT wasn’t the first to notice Mr. Fryer’s suspicious behavior. One user complained about his activity in early August in a direct email to Amazon founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos. A number of Fryer’s reviews were subsequently deleted, but he was able to continue adding new reviews.

The FT’s analysis also found that six more of Amazon UK’s top ten reviewers had also been engaging in suspicious activity. A number of them seem to have been involved in Facebook groups where sellers offer to compensate reviewers for good reviews.

Fake reviews have been an issue on the platform for years. Over the course of the Coronavirus pandemic, though, the problem has gotten worse. Online review analysis group, Fakespot estimated that fraudulent reviews rocketed in May this year, when 58% of products were “accompanied by fake reviews.”

Amazon uses AI to spot fake reviews and bad actors, it also has a strict policy on fake reviews. Despite this, this platform seems to be dealing with a much bigger problem with them than others with some sellers even conducting bushing scams to boost their legitimacy.

Speaking to The Verge, an Amazon spokesperson said:

“We want Amazon customers to shop with confidence knowing that the reviews they read are authentic and relevant.

“We have clear policies for both reviewers and selling partners that prohibit abuse of our community features, and we suspend, ban, and take legal action against those who violate these policies.”

You might like this

According to a report by Reveal, the rate of serious injuries from 2016 to 2019 was more than 50% higher at warehouses with robots than ones without
The service is called Amazon One, and is being rolled out in Seattle's Amazon Go stores today
She also urged to company to take its case before a jury

Share this article

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
PC guide

Independent, transparent, rigorous and authentic, our reviews are the most thorough and honest in PC gaming. Learn about our review process.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *