The British market watchdog Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) will investigate whether a number of large websites are doing enough to protect customers from false and misleading reviews. The CMA announced this on Friday.

According to the CMA, people are increasingly dependent on online shopping during the lockdown. The regulator will therefore investigate how websites currently detect, investigate and subsequently respond to false and misleading assessments.

Among other things, the regulator will scrutinize "suspicious reviews", such as individual users assessing "an unlikely range of products or services". It also looks at how websites handle reviews where the writer is paid to rate the product.

"Most of us read online reviews to help decide which products or services to buy. During the lockdown, we are more dependent than ever on online shopping, so it is very important that the online reviews we read are real opinions. If someone is persuaded to buy something after reading a fake or misleading review, they may end up wasting their money on a product that doesn't live up to expectations. "

The regulator does not disclose which websites are being investigated. However, the CMA warned that it would "not hesitate" to take action if websites break the law.