A new report by The Washington Post this week has found that fake product reviews are a growing problem for Amazon and Google Maps. These fake reviews are being purchased by merchants hoping to boost sales of their products.

According to the report, some popular categories such as Bluetooth headphones and speakers appear to violate Amazon’s prohibition on paid reviews.

The report also states that most of the fraudulent reviews originate from Facebook. Sellers are able to seek shoppers on networks such as the Amazon Review Club and Amazon Reviewers Group and ask for “glowing feedback” in exchange for compensation.

This has caused the inflation of thousands of products, misleading many consumers. Reviews are critical for product visibility and are a factor in ranking for Google. Consumers also lean heavily on online reviews when making purchasing decisions.

Only time will tell if new enforcement by these major sites will put an end to reviews that are solicited.

To read the full report, visit The Washington Post.

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