Amazon is stepping up its crackdown on fake product reviews after launching legal action against more than 1,000 unidentified people.

The etail giant, which filed a lawsuit in the US on October 16, claims the 1,114 defendants used Fiverr, an online platform that connects freelancers with potential jobs, to advertise their fake reviews services. 

The “reviewers”, who are all named as ‘John Does’ because Amazon does not know their names, work for as little as $5 (£3.35) per review. The retailer says they used multiple accounts and IP addresses to avoid detection, as well as contacting sellers regarding about what wording to use.

The action only targets the “reviewers” and not Fiverr, a start-up that says it bans advertising for such services and has already been working with the online retailer to remove users offering fake reviews.

In the lawsuit, Amazon said it was forced to act because “false, misleading and inauthentic” reviews are tarnishing its brand and reputation. It added: “Amazon is bringing this action to protect its customers from this misconduct, by stopping defendants and uprooting the ecosystem in which they participate.”

In April, Amazon sued four websites for selling fake reviews.