How to Keep Fake Amazon Reviews From Scamming You

July 8, 2016

5:00 pm

Fake Amazon reviews are a cottage industry: whoever wants a few can easily hire a user to write them a glowing five-star review for a few bucks. As a result, any product might be terrible and you’d never know.

Amazon‘s already going after fake reviewers: “Our goal is to eliminate the incentives for sellers to engage in review abuse and shut down this ecosystem around fraudulent reviews in exchange for compensation,” an Amazon spokesperson said about three TechCrunch-reported lawsuits filed last month asking for “the profits the sellers made on Amazon, attorneys’ fees, and damages exceeding $25,000.”

Still, Amazon hasn’t yet been able to stop what amounts to a massive misdirection on their site that has led to untold scams.

The Solution: FakeSpot

That’s why FakeSpot exists. The site will analyze any product to check up on the percentage of fake Amazon reviews that are driving up the listing’s appeal. It even comes with browser extensions, so anyone on Chrome or Firefox can check reviews with just a click.

It only supports Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.ca and Amazon.com.au at the moment, but might grow, given the benefits it provides.

The site comes with a page listing the products with the most fake reviews, which is pretty entertaining. Check it out if you’re in danger of buying the wrong electric callus remover. And, of course, FakeSpot has a page of the best products, too. The site makes money off of those who buy any amazon product through their affiliate link, but it provides a valuable service, too. I just wish I’d thought of this idea first.

Common Sense Is Also a Decent Solution, I Guess

Review site The Wirecutter spoke about FakeSpot positively, but issued a warning alongside their discussion:

“Keep in mind that these analyses are based on Fakespot’s techniques, so we have to take their word for it. We don’t have a way to verify how precise they are. However, you can make educated guesses. And if you’re in a hurry or in need of a second opinion, Fakespot can be a useful tool when you’re considering a purchase.”

In the end, only you can prevent dumpster fires.

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Adam is a writer with an interest in a variety of mediums, from podcasts to comic books to video essays to novels to blogging — too many, basically. He's based out of Seattle, and remains a staunch defender of his state's slogan: "sayWA." In his spare time, he recommends articles about science fiction on Twitter, @AdamRRowe

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