Online shopping is hotter than ever, especially this time of year as Cyber ​​Monday spending hits records. Amazon, in particular, saw record-breaking sales during the five-day shopping season, which began on Thanksgiving Day and ended on Cyber ​​Monday, which the company described as its “biggest ever.”

Many people want to see what kind of customer reviews they get on the products they buy, and a new report suggests that nearly half of those reviews are fake, according to a Connecticut lawmaker.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal cited a report by Fakespot, a service that detects fraudulent consumer reviews online. Fakespot found that out of 720 million Amazon reviews in 2020, a whopping 42 percent were fake.

The company found that some of the fake reviews come from online bots that sellers use to influence a product rating. In other scenarios, Amazon’s third-party vendors will improve their reviews, essentially by bribing customers, offering gifts, or even offering cash in exchange for a good review.

There is now pressure from the federal government to take action against the fake reviews. Citing the study, Blumenthal said there are hundreds of millions of false reviews on the site and provided an example of how a product can receive a fake review.

“It’s a letter to the buyer of these earbuds offering a $15 gift certificate for a positive review,” he said.

Blumenthal wrote to Amazon, saying that while it “has taken steps to curb these false reviews, it is perfectly clear that the company is not doing enough” and that “as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the practice has escalated is wilder.”

How Much Did Americans Shop Over Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend? That’s how it was, according to the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.

Amazon told NBC New York that it uses industry-leading tools to detect and block fake reviews and that the company “proactively stopped more than 200 million suspected fake reviews in 2020 alone… the nefarious business of brokering fake reviews remains.” however, there are industry-wide issues.”

Amazon said its policies prohibit the abuse of reviews, including offering incentives like gift cards for a positive review. In the meantime, the Federal Trade Commission has a few tips for spotting fake reviews.

You FTC recommends seeking information about a product from a variety of sources. Also, watch out for a sudden deluge of reviews — which can be a telltale sign of scams.

Also important to note: A negative review can also be fake to hurt a competitor. Those who spot a fake review should use the report link on a product page to allow the Amazon team to investigate.

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