Under the new rules, websites that host such reviews can also face criminal liability unless they take “reasonable steps” to verify the authenticity of the reviews
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Paying someone to write a fake review turns into one criminal act in accordance with proposed new laws aimed at protecting the public from rogue traders.
Websites that host such reviews can also face criminal liability unless they take “reasonable steps” to verify that the reviews are genuine, ministers said.
Corresponding Reports from the Times the proposed new laws may mean companies like trust pilot Amazon and Tripadvisor need to explain what they have done to prevent businesses from exploiting their systems.
The plan to put a stop to fake reviews was released yesterday, alongside measures to prevent fraud and rip-offs.
Other measures included creating clearer rules to make it easier for consumers to unsubscribe and cracking down on cartels and other practices that suppress competition.
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It also included the creation of new powers for the competition and market authority.
Under the new rules, prepayment schemes like Christmas savings clubs must protect customers’ money through insurance or escrow accounts.
Consumer Secretary Paul Scully said: “We are making sure consumer protection keeps pace with a modern, digitalised economy. You will no longer visit a five-star restaurant only to find a burnt lasagna.”
Consumers could also no longer “get caught up in a subscription with no end in sight,” he added, noting that consumers “deserve better.”
According to CMA data, an estimated £23bn of consumer spending per year – equivalent to around £900 per household – is influenced by online reviews.
According to recent studies, around 97 percent of shoppers rely on reviews to inform themselves when making a purchase.
The new law would make it illegal to offer or promote fake reviews to submit, commission or facilitate fake reviews, the government said.
Ministers intended to tackle “subscription traps” – the term used for companies that make it difficult to cancel a contract. The average household spends £60 a year on unwanted subscriptions, the government has said.
The new rules would require companies to provide consumers with clearer information before subscribing, issue a reminder that a free or low-cost introductory offer is expiring, and ensure consumers “hassle-free and low-cost” opt-out and one-off contract in an effective and timely manner”.
Financial penalties would be imposed by the CMA with penalties of up to 10 per cent of annual global turnover for companies or up to £300,000 in the case of an individual.
Compensation may be awarded directly to consumers by the regulator.
Currently, Tripadvisor, Trustpilot, Amazon, Google and Facebook say they spend a lot of time and money preventing fake reviews from appearing on their websites.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/paying-fake-reviews-sites-amazon-26759873 Paying for fake reviews on sites like Amazon and Tripadvisor is becoming a crime