Thousands of fake five-star reviews flooding Amazon revealed

Our investigation uncovered thousands of fake five star reviews for ‘unknown’ brands are littering Amazon.

Of the hundreds of products analysed, many have a raft of five star customer ratings and thousands of glowing reviews, and many of these are from unverified purchasers – all telltale signs of ‘fake’ reviews.

We found:

  • ‘Unknown’ brands dominating search results for popular tech
  • Tens of thousands of positive, unverified reviews
  • Hundreds of five-star, unverified reviews arriving on a product in a single day.
  • Products loaded with positive reviews for different items.

97% of shoppers rely on online customer reviews to help make a purchase, according to a survey we conducted in September 2018 of more than 2,000 adults. The CMA estimates that £23 billion a year of UK consumer spending is potentially influenced by online reviews.

This makes fake reviews a serious problem – at best they could mislead you into buying a product that’s not as good as it appeared, at worse you could end up with something that’s not even fit for purpose.

It took just a couple of hours to uncover more than 10,000 reviews from unverified purchasers on just 24 pairs of headphones – an easy-to-find red flag that highlights the scale of Amazon’s problem with fake reviews.

Within these products, we saw numerous instances where hundreds of five-star, unverified reviews arrived on a product listing on the same day, or in a short space of time. This sort of activity often involved duplication or repetition of reviews. We even found instances of positive reviews for entirely different products appearing on a listing.

Read our investigation on fake reviews in full.