If you’re looking for a sofa, you may have seen this ad, since deleted but remained for weeks in the first results of Google Shopping, which offered a convertible sofa for sale for around 360 euros. Problem: once paid, the product was never delivered. The Vehrnex company, behind these announcements, allegedly defrauded nearly 700 people, reports Numerama in an investigation published on Tuesday, May 3. Google itself would have seen nothing but fire, since it would have highly ranked the product whose comments, all false, extolled the merits, explains the site specializing in new technologies.
The victims would have all been reassured by the existence of a website, now unavailable, but still visible via the online archive site Wayback Machine. Fake customer service that first responded before remaining silent, and a hundred reviews on Trustpilot, a particularly laudatory consumer review site, would have tipped the scales in favor of the purchase.
Numerama points, in its article, the responsibility of the platforms which led to the scam, including Google Shopping, or even CDiscount which registered Vehrnex as a reseller when it was a scam. Contacted by our colleagues, CDiscount had not responded before the survey was released, while a Google spokesperson explained that it took “dishonest business practices” very seriously, considered a “flagrant violation” of its rules. The latter added that the platform had begun to extend identity verification to all advertisers”. Trustpilot declared, for its part, to take “all possible actions against manipulated comments” and “against the sale of opinions”. , it is specified.
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