Edmunds Seeks Injunction Against Company for Fraudulent Car Dealer Ratings and Reviews


  • Edmunds.com Logo Picture

    Edmunds.com Logo Picture

    Edmunds is seeking an injunction against a company responsible for fraudulent car dealer ratings and reviews. | July 23, 2013

Just the Facts:
  • Edmunds has filed a lawsuit against Texas-based Humankind Design Ltd. for, among other things, fraud and breach of the Edmunds membership agreement.
  • Edmunds discovered that Humankind had registered almost 2,200 fake members on Edmunds and had attempted to use them to create fraudulent content to sway car shoppers' opinions of dealers.
  • "We often say that we're in the business of trust, and, as we build our business based on the trust that consumers have in us, we will always do our best to ensure that people engaging with Edmunds have an authentic experience," said Seth Berkowitz, Edmunds president and chief operating officer.

SANTA MONICA, CaliforniaEdmunds has filed a lawsuit against Texas-based Humankind Design Ltd. for, among other things, fraud and breach of the Edmunds membership agreement.

Edmunds discovered that Humankind had registered almost 2,200 fake members on Edmunds and had attempted to use them to create fraudulent content to sway car shoppers' opinions of dealers.

"We often say that we're in the business of trust, and, as we build our business based on the trust that consumers have in us, we will always do our best to ensure that people engaging with Edmunds have an authentic experience," said Seth Berkowitz, Edmunds president and chief operating officer.

Berkowitz noted that unlike many rating services, Edmunds does not publish any dealer reviews until they are hand-screened by staff members to make sure they are compliant with the company's standards.

"Car shoppers and dealers can trust that we at Edmunds do everything we can to prevent fake and otherwise inappropriate reviews from appearing on our site," he said.

Edmunds found that Humankind's proprietor expressly promotes that he can create fraudulent reviews on ratings Web sites. He admits online: "Does posting reviews...violate Terms of Service...? In general, the review sites state that you must be posting for yourself and not for someone else. So in these cases the answer would be yes."

Edmunds has deliberately and successfully shut down other fraudulent and inappropriate activity throughout the existence of its online Forums, which date back to 1996. In July 2011, the company warned consumers about online vehicle purchase escrow scams that misappropriated use of the Edmunds name, then helped the FBI to uncover the criminal operation running the scam.

Edmunds says: The message here for consumers is all about trust.

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