A report by Which? shows that unscrupulous broker continue to hack Amazon, Google, Facebook and Amazon using fake reviews.
After setting up a fake business online – PCR testing firm ‘Gold Lion Labs’ – Which? Xealme was a fraudulent review broker that offered customer reviews for all three websites. According to the firm, it claimed to have generated nearly 16,000 reviews on behalf of 570 customers and that they offer their services in almost every country.
Gold Lion Labs has 19 Five-Star Reviews from Fake Profiles in Facebook. This was just 5 days ago. What happened next? Facebook removed 18 profiles at first, and it took almost a whole month to remove the rest.
Trustpilot’s reviews were gradually added but it was still 19 by the end of three weeks. It earned a TrustScore score of 4.6. A week later, Google had 19 reviews.
“Facebook Google Trustpilot and Google fail to take sufficient steps to end a false reviews industry, which has been thriving from misleading reviews for years,” says Rocio Concha of Which? Director of Policy and Advocacy.
Facebook, in particular, has not been quick to address fake reviews. It shows complete disregard for those who would like to read real reviews.
Trustpilot has said it removed nearly 2.7 Million false or misleading reviews, out of the 46.7M posted over the last year.
According to a spokesperson, “In 18 months we have developed new technology which allows us to understand the complex patterns of possible misuse and trace this back to determine review sellers or buyers.”
This allowed us to bring legal action against fraudulent review buyers and collaborate with other social media sites to eliminate reviews sellers. We now allow consumers to check their identities on Trustpilot.
The company claims it issued a Cease and Desist to Xealme. It has since removed any pages that offered fake reviews.
Facebook has said that it is currently investigating Which?’s accounts.
According to a spokesperson, “We have spent extensive resources and time to address this problem and we will continue doing so,” he said.
Our platforms prohibit fraudulent and deceptive activity, such as trading or offering fake reviews. These practices are being monitored by our security and safety teams.
An earlier announcement by the UK government was made about a Digital Markets, Competition and Consumer Bill. It would prohibit fake reviews and make it mandatory for platforms to verify that reviews are real.
The Competition and Markets Authority will have the authority to fine businesses up to 10% of their worldwide annual turnover and to demand compensation for consumers without them having to undergo lengthy court proceedings. Which? This is why we are calling for legislation to be passed quickly.
We have reached out to Google for comments and we will keep you updated if we get a response.
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