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Can you Spot a Fake Review? NY Attorney General's Office Catches 19 Companies Posting Them!

submitted on September 23, 2013 by HouTex in "Sales / Promotions"
A professor of computer science at the University of Illinois at Chicago who researches customer reviews reported as many as 30% of online reviews are fake!
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Review sites concede that fakes are a problem, but say they each have systems in place for picking out suspicious write-ups, from automated filters to special investigation teams. Still, systems aren’t foolproof, so it’s on the consumer to read between the lines.

After a year-long sting operation in which the New York Attorney General's office tracked fake reviews posted on websites such as Yelp, Google Local and CitySearch, 19 companies were found guilty and charged $350,000 in penalties.
The companies created online profiles and paid as little as $1 per review to freelance writers, some of whom were in the Philippines, Bangladesh and Eastern Europe, the Attorney General's office said.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office said the fake reviews breached laws against false advertising and deceptive business practices.

"Consumers rely on reviews from their peers to make daily purchasing decisions on anything from food and clothing to recreation and sightseeing," Schneiderman said.

"This investigation into large-scale, intentional deceit across the Internet tells us that we should approach online reviews with caution."

Companies providing fake positive reviews used internet address spoofing techniques to hide their identities and set up hundreds of bogus online profiles to try to get around review website controls.

Consumerist has previously posted more than 30 useful tips to spot fake reviews -

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    10 7 2
    Posted by roxytang on September 24, 2013
    [reply] 1 0
    A long, but very very interesting read. I run a restaurant and check Yelp regularly to see what people think of my place. I definitely take some of the comments more seriously than others. I think it's easy for people to say whatever they want under the cloak of anonymity.

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