Amazon is the world’s leading online marketplace with a focus to make shopping easy and convenient for everyone on the planet.
Unfortunately, lies are common on the internet. If you’ve browsed Amazon even for a relatively short period, you’ll most likely encounter a couple of misleading content or advertising, especially customer reviews.
While the company has a strict Anti-Manipulation Policy for Customer Reviews and encourages consumers to report suspected bogus reviews, many people do not know how to do this.
This quick guide will show you how to report fake reviews on Amazon.
Let’s get to it.
How Common Are Fake Reviews?
Amazon has a very functional review system and takes the lead when it comes to the largest source of reviews on the internet.
While this is a good thing, it also means that fake reviews are quite common on the platform. Some of the reviews are fake positive ones, while others are fake negative reviews.
When browsing through products, it is important to keep the following red flags in mind, as they can help you identify bogus and misleading reviews.
How to Spot Fake Reviews
- Look for the Verified Purchase Label: Genuine reviews typically have a “Verified Purchase” label next to the reviewer’s name. You might be looking at a fake review if the stamp is not there.
- Overly Positive or Negative Review without Details: Be wary of reviews with five-stars or one-star ratings without offering enough details. In many cases, these reviews are very brief and are all posted within a short period (usually on the same day).
- Check the reviewer’s previous reviews: One of the easiest ways to spot fake reviews is by clicking on the reviewer’s name. Amazon will show you how many reviews they’ve left and the dates. It is a red flag if they left quite a lot of reviews within a short period.
- Check for similarities in the reviews: Most incentivized reviews have the same tone since mischievous sellers tend to give fake reviewers the same or similar content. It is safer to consider it suspicious if the product you are looking at has mostly similar responses from so-called customers.
Common Reasons for Posting Fake Reviews
Mischievous sellers have various reasons for posting fake reviews. In the past, sellers abused the “Not helpful” button in Amazon by downvoting positive reviews from their competition.
Thankfully, Amazon has since removed the feature.
Still, sellers can pay, bribe, and even offer refunds worth more than the cost of an item for customers to revise a bad review or post a fake review.
They do this for obvious reasons, including:
- To lure potential buyers into buying more of their products
- To discredit the reputation of their competitors
- To discourage potential buyers from buying products from their competitors
Steps to Report Fake Reviews on Amazon
Here’s how to report fake reviews on Amazon:
Step 1: Open Amazon and sign in to your account.
Step 2: Scroll down until you find the suspicious review you want to report.
Step 3: Click on the “Report abuse” button below the suspicious review.
Step 4: Click on the “Report” button in the new window that opens.
Amazon will thank you for your feed, and that’s all. You’ve successfully reported a review you find misleading, abusive, or bogus.
Previously, you can describe the issue you are having or comment on why you are reporting a review. But Amazon has since removed the feature.
You may feel the need to take extra measures, especially if you think using the “Report abuse” button alone is not enough.
Here are additional steps you can take:
Send an Email to Amazon
Another way to report fake or misleading reviews is by sending an email to Amazon, notifying the company of your suspicion. You can send your email to email@example.com.
Provide as many details as you can in the email. Remember to include links to the suspicious review, the product name, and the ASIN. It is a good idea to add screenshots, too.
Keep in mind that Amazon may not reply to your email (except maybe to acknowledge receipt of your email). However, you can rest assured that the company will investigate the complaint.
Write Your Own Review
If a product you purchased after reading positive reviews turned out to be not as described, you can leave an honest negative review.
This will eventually hurt the seller because others who may be interested in the product will see the truth and avoid buying that item.
If more people who got disappointed or scammed left an honest bad review about a particular product, it won’t be long before others will steer clear of the product.
Return the Product
Perhaps the quickest way to get Amazon to notice possible misleading advertising is to return the product you bought and get a refund.
Returning the product will hurt the seller more than writing an honest negative review. That’s because returned products put the seller on Amazon’s radar, especially if several customers return the same product.
Although you can’t specify that you’re returning the product because of a fake review, Amazon allows you to choose whether the item is defective, has an inaccurate description, or doesn’t work.
Does Amazon Take Reports on Fake Reviews Seriously?
With countless buyers leaving real and fake reviews on Amazon, it is common for genuine buyers to wonder if there is any point in reporting fake reviews.
Truth is, many buyers have raised concerns about their reports not having any impact.
But should you allow a fake review to slide because you think Amazon isn’t going to do something about it?
We don’t think so!
Here’s the thing; Amazon is swamped with fake reviews, and dealing with complaints fairly and justly can take a while. That’s understandable considering the sheer volume of work cut out for Amazon’s staff.
With roughly 10 million reviews to analyze every week, it is only normal to expect less than a swift response from Amazon.
You need to be patient when reporting fake reviews on Amazon.
Sellers can manipulate the system if Amazon rushes into pulling down every review because someone reports it as fake. For this reason, Amazon takes its time to investigate claims or complaints.
Fortunately, your patience will surely pay off, especially since other genuine buyers will likely report the same sets of fake reviews.
In most cases, the punishment will not come immediately after you report a fake review. But it will come in the long run.
If you report a review as fake and Amazon determines that this to be the case, it will not hesitate to take appropriate actions against the user spreading or encouraging the misleading reviews.
What Amazon Can Do
Amazon has very strict policies on customer reviews, and there are a few ways the company could punish those who attempt to manipulate reviews on its platform.
1. Remove the review and delist the product
Amazon will delete the fake review if it determines that it is incentivized or maliciously written. But the punishment is not likely to end there. The seller’s product may be delisted. If they have more than one product, Amazon could delist all related products, too.
2. Suspend or Terminate Privileges
In some cases, the company may terminate the seller’s Amazon privileges, especially when the seller deliberately manipulates the reviews (by offering bribes in return for fake reviews or targeting a competitor’s product with false negative reviews).
At the very least, Amazon will suspend the seller’s account for promoting fake reviews.
3. Ban Sellers Account
It is not out of place for the company to outrightly ban a seller’s account in cases where there are several complaints against the seller or where sellers are in gross violation of Amazon’s Anti-Manipulation Policy for Customer Reviews or some other company guidelines.
4. Withhold or Forfeit Payments
Amazon reserves the right to withhold a seller’s remittances and payments if they are found guilty of manipulating reviews directly or indirectly.
The seller may even have to completely forfeit payments to its account if Amazon determines that the account has been used to promote misleading reviews or inauthentic content.
5. Legal Action
Sellers who manipulate reviews risk facing legal action. This could lead to criminal or civil penalties if the misconduct is in violation of state or federal laws (such as the Federal Trade Commission Act).
Bottom line: sellers with fake reviews could face lawsuits resulting in monetary judgments that are over and above their annual revenue. In other words, your report can help put a stop to sellers and their cohorts from spreading fake and misleading reviews on Amazon.
Amazon encourages genuine customers to report suspected review manipulations or other forms of guideline violations.
Now that you understand how to report fake reviews on Amazon, you can shop more confidently, knowing that the company will take you seriously if you have been misled by reviews on any product.
However, keep in mind that the consequences of reporting reviews can be very severe on the seller and may permanently put them out of business, at least on the world’s biggest online marketplace.
For this reason, you want to be absolutely sure before you report fake reviews on Amazon.