Fake reviews for weight-loss pills on Amazon net firm $12.8m fine from US regulator

A photo taken on April 11, 2015 in Lauwin-Planque, northern France, shows a site of the Amazon electronic commerce company. AFP PHOTO PHILIPPE HUGUEN / AFP PHOTO / Philippe HUGUEN (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)
Image:Cure Encapsulations hired a marketing company to post fake Amazon reviews

 

A company which sold what it claimed were weight-loss pills using fake reviews on Amazon has been given a suspended $12.8m fine by US regulators.

It is the first time that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has made a judgement against a company for hiring a marketing company to write fake reviews of its products on the online retail giant.

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The business, Cure Encapsulations, and its owner, Naftula Jacobowitz, reached a settlement with the FTC to pay $50,000 due to its financial situation.

According to the FTC “if the defendants are later found to have misrepresented their financial condition” then the full $12.8m will become due.

As part of the settlement, the company admitted that it made false and unsubstantiated claims about its weight-loss supplement, and hired a marketing company to write and post fake reviews about the supplement on Amazon.

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