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How to Spot Fake Online Reviews on Amazon and the Web

With the ever-increasing volume of content posted on the internet, as well as growing internet traffic, it has become much harder to control and evaluate online reviews both for products and services.

Anonymity on the internet makes it possible for people to post reviews which don’t always reflect reality.

Many consumer websites, as well as major companies such as Amazon, have developed methods to discover and remove fake reviews which can greatly harm the reputation of any online enterprise.

However, spotting fake reviews is not always easy despite this fact that there are methods which can help us recognize honest and filter out fake reviews online.

On Amazon

Amazon has recently made significant efforts to combat fake reviews. As the number of fake reviews has greatly increased during recent years, Amazon has started to file lawsuits against more than 1,000 fake reviews.

Despite the actions taken recently, a large number of fake reviews on Amazon still represents a problem for buyers.

Fakespot

Here is where Fakespot comes extremely useful. This tool was launched in 2015, to help provide buyers with a method to protect themselves from fake reviews. Fakespot analyzes Amazon product reviews using an intelligent algorithm to calculate a product grade based on the authenticity of reviews regarding the product in question.

Fakespot is free to use and it can also be added as an extension to your Google Chrome browser.

General Tips to Spot Fake Reviews

Growing number of fake reviews present online has made it increasingly difficult for consumers to gather correct information about products of their interest. Luckily, there are some tips you can follow which can help you spot suspicious reviews as described below.

Take Notice of Reviewer’s History

Posters’ history of reviews is an important factor to consider. It’s difficult to get a right picture if you’re only taking into consideration a single review.

Take some time to read other reviews by the same poster, and not just the one you’re interested in. If you see a similar copy/paste pattern, chances are most of these are not legit and the poster may be paid to post fake reviews online.

Compare With Other Reviews

It’s never a good idea to take only a single review into consideration when considering a business, product or service. Suspicious reviews are easier to spot when compared to other genuine ones. For example, an exceptionally positive review in a pool of indifferent, or even negative reviews could often be a red flag.

Multiple Reviews Using the Same Language

People can often be identified by the language the use, the style of writing they employ as well as the wording they use. If you notice multiple reviews from the same person using the exact language, and the exact set of phrases, no matter the product/service in question, it is definitively a reason for suspicion.

Overly Positive/Negative Reviews

Uniformly positive or negative reviews should always sound the alarm. Overly criticizing or praising a product, business or service is often an indicator that something is wrong. Honest online reviews should always primarily focus on informing others in an objective manner, emphasizing both positive and negative sides of the given product/service. Fake reviews, on the other hand, provide skewed and biased perspective whose aim is to deceive customers.

Irrelevant Reviews

One of the easier ways to spot a potentially fake review is to pay attention whether the review is relevant to the product/service in question or not. If you notice that the content of the review does not give any specific information about the product/service and is too generalized, it is a potential red flag.

Fake reviews are often overly generalized and use a language full of superlatives, which is irrelevant to the product/service or business they are reviewing.

Too Enthusiastic

Some reviews are simply too enthusiastic. This, of course, does not automatically mean that such reviews are fake, but it should be a reason for suspicion, especially if the review shows excessive enthusiasm and uses overly positive language.

Deceptive Language

Surprisingly or not, many fake reviews tend to use the same, common set of phrases. Some of the strong reasons for suspicion include:

  • Excessive use of exclamation points to emphasize strongly positive emotions.
  • Often mentioning who they were with when using the service, like a hotel for example.
  • The first person writing. Using ‘I’ and ‘Me’ often.

Pay Attention to The Poster’s Name

It should not be too much of a surprise that people posting fake reviews often use strange, trumped out names. Many of them also use fake accounts and fake account names. This alone is not a reason to conclude that the review must be fake, but it can be an indicator that something is wrong.

Ultimately, you alone have all the info necessary to reach the correct conclusion. Following some of these tips can help guide you in the right direction.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Tommy

    July 27, 2016 at 10:23 pm

    Or simply copy & paste the Amazon product URL into ReviewMeta.com and it will run detailed analysis, including re-calculating the product rating after filtering out the fakes…

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