Online retail giant Amazon is suing over 1,000 unidentified people it is accusing of selling fake reviews.
The company said the 1,114 "John Doe" defendants used a website Fiverr.com – where a variety of people offer jobs called "gigs" starting at a price of $5 (hence the name) – to sell reviews. It claims each of the John Doe defendants has offered, or continues to offer, to create five-star Amazon reviews for $5 or more.
Amazon said it had conducted its own investigation and communicated directly with some of the defendants.
Review sellers also said they would use multiple accounts and IP addresses to evade the retailer's review controls.
Here's a snippet from the documents filed in a Seattle court on Friday:
For example, Fiverr seller “bess98” in her “I will do, Amazon, Reviews, Amazon, Reviews, for $5” Gig promises to post “awesome review on your amazon product.”
The secret of bess98’s “awesome reviews” is simple: “you have to provide me the review text.” Amazon confirmed this approach when its investigator communicated with bess98.
Amazon filed a similar case in April this year, and is also demanding that the defendants hand over details of Amazon users who have purchased fake reviews.