"We applaud the FTC's work in this area, and Amazon invests considerable resources to protect the integrity of the reviews in our store because we know that customers value the information and experiences shared by other customers, even an inauthentic opinion is one too many.We have clear participation, guidelines for reviewers and sales partners, and we suspend, prohibit and sue those who break our rules. "]
In the very first case of this type, the Federal Trade Commission has just reached an agreement providing for a fine of $ 12.8 million against a company of herbal supplements that have paid false assessments. stars to increase sales on Amazon.
The fraudulent company, Cure Encapsulations, contacted a site that publishes fake reviews – amazonverifiedreviews.com (now dismantled) – and told them: "" Please, let my product … remain a five-star. "They then paid the crazy site" $ 1,000 for 30 reviews to change the product ratings, "according to Mashable.
In addition to falsified criticism alleged to come from actual customers, the FTC also alleged that the company had made "false and unfounded allegations" for pills known as Garcinia Cambogia Quality Encapsulations.
Garcinia Cambogia is a tropical fruit found in Indonesia that has been used as a natural aid for weight loss. As the Verge points out, the use of the herbal supplement has been linked to acute liver failure.
"People are relying on criticism for their online shopping," said Andrew Smith, director of the Commission's Consumer Protection Bureau, in a statement. "When a company buys fake reviews to inflate its Amazon ratings, it hurts both buyers and companies who follow the rules."
In addition to the heavy fine, Cure Encapsulations is also prohibited "from making claims of weight loss, appetite suppression, fat blocking or disease treatment for any dietary supplement, food or medication, unless there is good and reliable scientific evidence in this report – a form of human clinical trials supporting the claims, "according to the FTC.
Do you mean that they are still allowed to run a business? Beware of buyers!
Image: Robert Nelson / Flickr
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