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AMAZON Sues 1114 FIVERR Sellers


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Your case is different because threats are involved.

Most paid reviews are simple trades, there are no victims. Amazon cannot consider itself a victim because they have no way of proving that paid reviews hurt their sales. As a matter of fact, paid reviews have been proven to increase sales.

As for Amazon’s “rules,” let’s not forget that Amazon is not a republic, they are not above the law. For example, a restaurant posts a “Gun-Free Zone” sign, does that mean someone with a concealed carry license can’t bring a gun inside? Not necessarily, in some States, your license lets you ignore that sign with the exception of government buildings and other places where guns are prohibited by State law. Of course, the gun owner has to be aware of the laws of his own State, and if he isn’t sure, he will leave the gun in the car.

Fact is that Amazon has so many rules that I wouldn’t be surprised if plenty of people are violating them. For example, Amazon prohibits book sellers from asking friends and family members to review books. Why? Because those people won’t be objective, and they will leave a positive review.

But let’s assume your argument is correct. Why doesn’t Amazon simply go against the writers that pay for reviews? Why don’t they simply fine them or unpublish their books? What paid reviewers need is a good lawyer, and a good counter suit.

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Extremely difficult. My assistant is based in the Philippines. The system is completely different, not very democratic, they won’t cooperate with you unless you pay them off nicely to help your client. That’s how it works in Asia. One of the other problems with countries in Asia are the names could be fake both on fiverr and paypal.

We had a malicious negative SEO attack after we made a comment about an seo service we hired. We know who he is and where he is as he was exposed by others via google search. He destroyed one of our websites which hasn’t fully recovered after a year. Not much you can do. Funny enough, that person has a past legal record and still sells on fiverr.

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I agree with you and that is the reason my client is using local investigative companies which are run by former law enforcement guys in Phillipines. They are very very effective as knowing the system well, they can launch a multi-prong attack more suitable to the locale. They are effective as knowing the system well, they can great an urgency where the affected party wants to get these guys off their back as they can become very very painful.

If your website was destroyed, I also recommend reporting the issue to IC3 where the database is frequently searched by multiple law enforcement agencies. Dont expect any immediate action but in time they are pretty effective and many times they will connect the dots and get people detained in international locations. With the increased hacking attempts, many of these SEO service providers who provide malicious services may be a part of a larger malicious network which authorities are very keen to lay their hands on.

The seller in one of the cases who was reported to FTC and IC3 made a holiday trip to Dubai, UAE and was detained there. Its been more than 1.5 years, the seller is in in jail while the case is going on. So, not a happy ending for the seller who thought that he is beyond the hands of law.

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Yes, based on what you describe there is no doubt this may be gang related in Asia. Haha, worst place to be in jail if you’re from the Philippines is Dubai. But, no sympathy for what that person did. The guy who attacked our website is based in the US. But, I guess he thinks he is untouchable. He’s also a large seller on fiverr. Thanks, you gave me and others something to think about.

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Report this US Seller to FTC and IC3 and send a snail mail to legal department of Google (they wont act on emails) with any details that you have on this guy. Even strong suspicions can be reported i.e correlate of negative review with the SEO attack. Then let the information be in the system and wait for things to unfold.

It is just a matter of time that NSA and other agencies start monitoring these so called low level hackers (negative SEO) with the same vigour as they monitor the big bad guys. The big bad guys come from these small networks so the agencies would love to keep a tab on these small guys. Here is an interesting article to read. Social Networks and Platform Networks (like Fiverr) are being used to map out the bad guys of all sorts.

http://www.digitaltonto.com/2013/how-the-nsa-uses-social-network-analysis-to-map-terrorist-networks/

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Even without proving real damage, they are claiming economic interference which is a good starting point. If they cannot get a civil injunction, they will be able to get a criminal injunction. Either way it is a Win.

Whenever people scheme to benefit maliciously (even 1 Dollar gain), it is considered Racketeering which is now treated with the same vigour of mafia activities. If the 1 Dollar was transmitted from a US institutional payment system (Paypal ?), then it is also considered wire fraud.Amazon is also claiming unjust enrichment which when can quickly be flipped into Wire Fraud.

The fact that there are so many sellers providing these services leaves open a possibility that they may be a part of larger malicious network, so this case may be drawing significant interest from the relevant agencies. if they are lucky, they may be able to find the hackers of Sony, Ashley Madison and many other affected parties within this group.

The way prosecutors apply the above clauses is discretionary but prosecutors will not hesitate to apply the stringent provisions with full rachet on foreign nationals.

Eventually Amazon will win or force people to settle or keep them on the “Find them and Make them Pay Damages” list.

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Wow. I’ve never bothered with review type gigs because I’d rather buy something I really want and review it myself on my own time.

This makes me glad I go out of my way to follow TOS, even if I have to reject clients.

Also, looks like one of the defendants is one word shy of using my artist nickname. Xp Yikes. Don’t want to get framed for someone’s misbehavior.

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Reviews and even paid reviews are not illegal till the time an full upfront disclosure is made that the review is paid or that actors are speaking in the video testimonial. It becomes tricky when the paid reviewers trying to pass off as genuine buyers and negative impact the honest sellers who are trying to build their business ethically. Amazon Vine is not illegal as by implicit association and explicit agreements, it is clear that they are reviewing as they have received a free product. Till disclosure is made and the product is used to be reviewed, all is good. Paid to Review, Never used the Product and Non-Disclosure of facts makes things unethical. Basically, such borderline illegal activities impact healthy competition between companies.

An example of how the law treats this in United States and most of the developing countries.

*** A lady was arrested for selling Moon Rock and initially charged with Theft of government property. Selling moon rock is illegal in United States as genuine moon rock is the property of the state who spent billions sending mission to moon and collecting these rocks for research.
When arrested, she claimed that the moon rock she was selling was fake and not an original moon rock. So far so good and she got off the theft charge, but for falsely representing that she was selling a genuine moon rocks, she was convicted of fraud.

Intentional misrepresentation can be pursued as a civil or criminal fraud based on the context. What Amazon is doing here is pursuing Civil Fraud and it is using multiple effects of this civil fraud (misrepresented and malicious Amazon reviews) to have caused Economic Interference leading to reputational loss and economic loss.

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Its called prosecutorial discretion. DOJ does not and will not stop a prosecutor from filing charges under racketeering and wire fraud basis what case the prosecutors have. DOJ does not itself interfere with the prosecuting officers discretion (protected constitutionally) unless the discretion makes the case non trial worthy.

In such a case, where so many sellers are involved, a Racketeering Case and Wire Fraud indictment is very likely.

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I was wondering the same too, but I guess you can write positive reviews without doing it for a third party site. When I first became a seller and I saw that section I was interested in doing that as a service and I asked the suggestions of other sellers who told me about the TOS and third party sites, so I stayed away from posting that gig. What I get from it is lets say if I own a product and I pay you to write a review it will not affect the seller’s gig because it’s not a third party site like Amazon.

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We have to let out drug dealers from prisons currently due to intense overcrowding in prisons. There is only so much money for prosecutions and prisons and probation officers. The fake reviews are wrong. But to get hysterical to the point of prosecuting, convicting and probationing thousands of them to the cost of millions if not billions of dollars as if they are the biggest threat to society since 911? Maybe we could just ship them all to Guantanimo Bay.

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I doubt that there will be physical jail time if this case makes it to the prosecution desk at all.

If at all, there will be convictions and suspended jail sentences. Conviction on record with suspended sentence is much lighter on the body than the soul.

Once again, this is the worst case possibility, Right now, it is a civil case and civil case should be settled in the civil zone.

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