Tools for Fake Review Detection: How to Spot Fake Reviews (2023)

Online reviews heavily influence purchase decisions, but not every review is real. The problem of fake reviews can affect companies of all types and sizes.

Where do these fake reviews come from? Here are some common sources:

  • Service providers or vendors that sell both positive and negative reviews, such as what you’ll find when you try to buy Google reviews;
  • Business owners and marketers who write their own fake reviews to attract customers, including fake negative reviews of their competitors;
  • Former employees who post negative reviews of their employees in retaliation for being fired or laid off;
  • Friends, family, and employees who write positive reviews on behalf of a company or brand they’re closely associated with;
  • Customers who write negative reviews in order to get a refund, a discount, or some other benefit.

Tools for Fake Review Detection: How to Spot Fake Reviews (1)

Find out your brand's online reputation score

Take the guesswork out of your strategy. Instantly generate your brand's online Reputation Scorecard, complete with review highlights, ratings, keyword trends and more.

(Video) How to Spot a Fake Review on Amazon

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How ReviewTrackers Helps Detect Fake Reviews

Today’s best reputation management software tools often feature the ability to monitor and manage reviews. A number of them even offers fake review detection.

Online reputation management software ReviewTrackers takes a unique approach to identifying fake and harmful reviews. It aggregates reviews from the top directories and helps brands listen to, understand, and respond to what customers are saying about their experiences.

With its natural language processing engine and customer experience analytics technology, ReviewTrackers can help brands identify trending keywords and themes based on review data. This makes it easier to identify review fraud, or single out pieces of feedback that don’t appear to come from legitimate customers.

Teams and brand managers can also leverage the ReviewTrackers platform to respond to reviews, personalize replies using smart templates, and generate authentic reviews and feedback in ways that minimize the impact of any fake reviews.

How to Spot Fake Reviews

Most business review sites have a system or filter in place to automatically detect fake online reviews.

With 6 easy steps, brands and consumers alike can help address the problem by learning how to spot fake reviews and get them reported.

Step 1: Check the Reviewer’s Profile

One way to determine the authenticity of a review is to check who wrote it. Take the time to verify information from the reviewer’s Facebook, Twitter, or review website profile (if available).


Keep an eye on their location, account creation date, review activity, work information, and social accounts. Does the profile look like it belongs to a real person? If the answer is no, you probably want to plant a red flag on the review.

Step 2: Look for Specifics

Another way to spot fake reviews is to see the detail in which the review was written. Genuine reviews often contain very specific descriptions of their experiences with the product or service. Where did they hear about the business location, or how did they use the product?

If the reviewer doesn’t make use of specific examples, doesn’t seem to be very knowledgeable about what it is they purchased, and doesn’t say how they used it or what the actual customer experience was like — the review could be fake.

Step 3: Watch Out for Repeat Brand Mentions

If the review sounds like a press release or ad copy written by a marketer, it probably is. Look out for unnatural or repeat mentions of a brand, product name, or product model: “I highly recommend the stainless steel Toshiba EM131A5C-BS with Smart Sensor and Easy Clean Interior.”

It’s also useful to identify reviewers who comment on several products in one category. For example, if a person wrote reviews of a dozen microwaves within a short time span, the reviews are likely paid for by a service provider or business.

Step 4: Check the Wording

When you’re learning how to spot fake reviews, look for words and phrases that an average person wouldn’t use.

For example, if you’re reading a review of a modem and you see “explosive speed” or “robust wireless data transmission,” the review is probably not genuine. People just don’t talk this way, no matter how much they love a product.

Step 5: Be Wary of Black and White

Internet users have strong opinions. However, online reviews that sound too good or too bad to be true should give you a reason to doubt their authenticity.

Real reviews often reflect customer experiences that are neither 100% good or 100% bad. People who had a negative experience can still leave good feedback about a certain aspect of their experience, while those with a positive experience can point out where there is room for improvement.

Step 6: Contact the Review Website

If you suspect a review is fake, be sure to reach out to the administrators or support staff of the review site to prompt a more detailed investigation. If the review is indeed fake, it can successfully be taken off your company’s profile pages or online listings.

(Video) How to spot fake review|Amazon fake review |fake testimonials|2 best tool|HD Video

Is It Illegal to Write a Fake Review?

Fake reviews are a violation of the terms of service of all business review sites. This means that any attempt to manipulate your brand reputation — or harm that of your competitors — through fake reviews can result in legal action against you.

Providing customers with incentives to write reviews of your company can also have repercussions. According to the “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising” by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), reviews are considered endorsements.

If there is a form of incentive or compensation or close relationship between an individual giving an endorsement and a company receiving it, this should be made explicit. The FTC also considers it illegal to incentivize reviews even if there’s no requirement that the review be positive. According to the guides:

Advertisers (companies) and endorsers (customers who provide endorsements) may be liable for false or unsubstantiated claims made in an endorsement, or for failure to disclose material connections between the advertiser and endorsers.

Simply put: asking for reviews doesn’t mean you should reward customers who write them.

The Consequences of Faking Your Reviews

Some companies write fake reviews in an effort to improve their reputation and drum up new business.

Often referred to as review “astroturfing,” this is the practice of preparing or disseminating a fake review that a reasonable consumer would believe to be a neutral, third-party testimonial.

Not only does astroturfing violate the trust that consumers place in reviews. It also destroys the credibility that other companies have worked so hard to build. The following can also happen to you and your brand if you’re caught posting fake reviews.

(Video) How to Identify Fake Reviews on Google Business Profile - Tips for Spot Spam Rating on My Competitor

Your Business Listings May Get Suspended

Online review sites like Yelp, Google, and Tripadvisor have systems in place for spotting fake reviews written by someone hired or paid by a business.

Fake reviews can also result in your company’s local listings and pages being banned or suspended. This, in turn, can lead to a dip in your search rankings.

You Don’t Meet Customer Expectations

Companies posting fake reviews often run the risk of disappointing their own customers.

Most of the time, their offerings don’t match the fabricated glowing reviews that customers find online. If the actual experience doesn’t match the brand promise, those customers won’t return.

It’s also highly likely that consumers will regard a company’s business listing with mistrust when they see consumer alerts or similar notifications slapped across it.

You May Get Sued or Fined

The FTC, along with consumer advocacy groups and organizations, are known to crack down on companies posting fake reviews.

Here are some recent examples:

  • The FTC announced a settlement with Cure Encapsulations, an Amazon seller that bought fake reviews of its product, a weight loss supplement.
  • An online tasking platform called Service Seeking was fined $600,000 over 17,000 reviews that were made to look like they were written by customers, but were actually by the companies that completed the work.
  • Cosmetics firm Sunday Riley Modern Skincare, LLC (Sunday Riley Skincare) and its CEO, Sunday Riley, agreed to settle an FTC complaint charging them with misleading consumers by posting fake reviews of the company’s products on a major retailer’s website, without disclosing that the reviewers were actually company employees.
  • The FTC slapped a $250,000 fine on Legacy Learning Systems, a Tennessee-based music instructional DVD series seller that hired affiliate marketers to write fake positive reviews of its guitar courses.

With the risk of incurring legal costs, damages, and hefty fines, fake customer reviews are potentially a very expensive mistake to make. Getting caught also generates a ton of bad publicity, blemishing your brand reputation forever.

Get Authentic Reviews and Feedback

Trust is central to the importance of reviews in consumers’ decision-making. Learning how to spot fake reviews promotes a healthy online reputation. Instead of resorting to fake reviews to improve your search rankings and customer acquisition strategy, it’s also important to develop a strategy for earning authentic reviews and candid customer feedback.

This type of outreach benefits your brand in the long run, minus the risks and consequences inherent in fake reviews. Proactively asking for reviews strengthens your customer relationships and connects your company to the voices that matter the most.

(Video) Detecting Fake Reviews

Request a demo today so ReviewTrackers can help you generate authentic reviews and feedback for your brand.

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How do you spot fake reviews? ›

Here are six tips to help you spot fake reviews and protect your purchases.
  1. Don't rely on star ratings alone. ...
  2. Watch out for red flags. ...
  3. See if the reviewer is legit. ...
  4. Check for a burst of reviews during a short time span. ...
  5. Look out for fake negative reviews, too. ...
  6. Read independent product reviews from established sources.
Nov 23, 2022

How to detect fake reviews using machine learning? ›

The main idea used to detect the fake nature of reviews is that the review should be computer generated through unfair means. If the review is created manually, then it is considered legal and original.

How do you spot online reviews and the steps online retailers to minimize fake reviews? ›

How to Spot Fake Reviews
  1. Consult Your Business Records. ...
  2. Research the User Account From Which the Review Was Published. ...
  3. Identify Suspicious Account Usernames. ...
  4. Look at the Timing of the Reviews. ...
  5. Analyze the Language of the Reviews. ...
  6. Professional Review Hit Jobs.
Jan 12, 2023

Can online reviews be manipulated? ›

Manipulation of reviews occurs when online vendors, publishers, or authors write 'consumer' reviews by posing as real customers. Thus, manipulation here means that the posted review is not a truthful account of a real customer's experience.

What percentage of reviews are fake? ›

Experts say that's a problem because up to 30% of online reviews are fake. “My research shows that the review platforms are just saturated with fake reviews. Far more so than most people are aware of,” said Dean.

Can you get in trouble for fake reviews? ›

Is It Illegal to Write a Fake Review? Fake reviews are a violation of the terms of service of all business review sites. This means that any attempt to manipulate your brand reputation — or harm that of your competitors — through fake reviews can result in legal action against you.

How can users tell the difference between a legitimate app and a fake? ›

Google the name of the developer to find out information about them. This will give you a sense of whether they are reputable or not. Sometimes, a counterfeit app may have the same developer name as its original counterparts, with one or two letters changed to trick users into believing they are the real deal.

How do you control fake reviews? ›

Consumers should not be allowed to edit their reviews and use foul language. Platforms should also restrict authors giving fraudulent reviews from publishing such reviews in the future, the guidelines stated. Authors submitting reviews online will be required to verify their identity by platforms.

What is the most reliable review site? ›

1. Amazon Customer Reviews. Amazon isn't just one of the first platforms to accept customer reviews. It's also one of the most trusted sources for consumers looking for more info before buying something online.

How do you trick Google reviews? ›

Link the thumbs down graphic to a “hidden” page on your website that contains a feedback form. The not-so-happy customer can fill out the form, you get the email, and their negative review never sees the light of Google. Write in the comments below if you use this trick and let us know how well it works.

How do you analyze online reviews? ›

How do you analyze reviews?
  1. Find a review analysis provider and integrate your reviews into their platform.
  2. Explore the analyzed results to find key issues, bugs, or feature requests.
  3. Find specific examples of key issues and share results with stakeholders.

What is review manipulation? ›

What is review manipulation? Amazon defines it as any attempt by sellers or manufacturers to gain unfair advantages by creating false, misleading or inauthentic feedback about products or services.

Can Google remove false reviews? ›

Google uses automated spam detection measures to remove reviews that are probably spam. These measures help improve people's experiences on Google and ensure the reviews they see are authentic, relevant, and useful. Some legitimate reviews may be inadvertently removed.

Can online reviews be traced? ›

Can Google reviews be traced? Yes. Your IP address can be traced if you leave a Google review anonymously. Google can see your IP address when you post a review, even if you hide your name.

Do businesses pay for fake reviews? ›

Paid Reviews Are a Legal Liability

The Federal Trade Commission, or FTC, is a consumer watchdog. One of its roles is to rid the marketplace of unfair or deceptive marketing. If it identifies your business as one that actively pays for reviews, it has the capacity to take you to court and issue fines.

How do fake reviews make money? ›

There are plenty of other places you can make money writing reviews. For example, you may want to check out InboxDollars, Slice the Pie, Swagbucks, Survey Junkie, and Software Judge. Some of these have been specifically designed for software reviews, so make sure you understand what you'll be writing about.

Do 88% of all reviews come from only 4 review sites? ›

88% of All Reviews Come from Only 4 Review Sites

After Google (73%), Yelp (6%), Facebook (3%), and Tripadvisor (3%) follow suit. Since reviews are so influential in shaping consumer behavior, only a handful of sites also brings in new business.

What is the punishment for fake reviews? ›

The BIS norms on fake reviews, as of now, are voluntary in nature. According to the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, penalty on e-commerce entities for posting fake reviews of products and giving inflated ratings would be imposed, and the penalty amount could range from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 50 lakh.

Is review manipulation illegal? ›

The answer is that yes, posting fake reviews is illegal. The FTC goes after companies for it.

Which apps is used for Frauding? ›

The top 10 apps were led by Facebook with 152 victims, Google Hangouts with 99 victims, Instagram with 80, WhatsApp and Plenty of Fish had 50 each. Match, OurTime, Zoosk, Words With Friends and Tinder round out the top 10.

What is cinnamon on my phone? ›

Cinnamon — An AI-based video platform with a detailed toolkit for content creators, native cross-app sharing and fair monetization.

What is a decoy app? ›

A decoy app is what it sounds like; it's a mobile app designed for the purpose of hiding something.

What are the different types of fake reviews? ›

There are three types of fake reviews, untruthful reviews, brand reviews and non-reviews. All three types mislead the new customers.

Where can I find honest reviews? ›

Here, below mentioned are the secured, unbiased websites that give 100% reliable reviews and show you the true face of the product:
  • Amazon. One of the biggest e-commerce platforms Amazon is the best reviewing site. ...
  • Google. Google's business profile is another one of the top review sites. ...
  • Angie's List. ...
  • Trustpilot. ...
  • TestFreaks.
May 1, 2022

How do I get honest reviews? ›

Consumer Reports

If you're shopping for just about anything, you can probably find a report on it here. Access to their extensive reviews does require a subscription, but it may be one of the best ways to avoid biased opinions. Check them out before making your next big or small purchase.

How do I find honest reviews of a company? ›

  1. Glassdoor. Glassdoor is probably the best known website for employees to leave reviews of employers. ...
  2. Indeed. ...
  3. Vault. ...
  4. CareerBliss. ...
  5. Kununu. ...
  6. JobAdvisor. ...
  7. Ratemyemployer. ...
  8. TheJobCrowd.
Feb 12, 2022

How to increase Google reviews hack? ›

How to get more Google reviews
  1. First, know the process. ...
  2. Create a Google review link shortcut. ...
  3. Shorten your review shortcut. ...
  4. Link out to your Google reviews page from your website. ...
  5. Create a Google reviews page on your website. ...
  6. Include a Google review CTA in your footer. ...
  7. Create “leave us a review” cards.
Sep 16, 2020

Is it illegal to ask for Google reviews? ›

Can I ask customers for reviews? Yes, you can ask customers to submit reviews, but Google review guidelines forbid “soliciting reviews from customers in bulk.” Can I stop customers from writing bad reviews? No, Google review policies expressly forbid “selectively solicit(ing) positive reviews from customers.”

How do you assess reviews? ›

Evaluating Reviews
  1. Take the extreme reviews (both good and bad) with a grain of salt. ...
  2. Take into account the overall tone of the reviews — are they mostly positive or negative? ...
  3. Look for reviews that are balanced and that share the pros and cons of a situation, product, or service.
Sep 3, 2018

How do you analyze user feedback? ›

Seven steps on how to analyze customer feedback
  1. Collate your data. ...
  2. Determine how to categorize the feedback. ...
  3. Get a quick overview. ...
  4. Code the feedback. ...
  5. Refine your coding. ...
  6. Calculate how popular each code is. ...
  7. Summarize and share.
Aug 28, 2019

How many people read online reviews before making a purchase? ›

In 2021, nearly 70 percent of online shoppers typically read between one and six customer reviews before making a purchasing decision.

What is review scraping? ›

What is review scraping? Review scraping is the process of extracting customer review data from multiple web sources using web scraping tools or web scraping apis such as social media platforms and review pages like Amazon, eBay, G2, Capterra, etc.

What are review techniques? ›

What Is a Review Strategy? Review strategies are techniques for reengaging with information that you have already learned, so that it stays fresh in your mind. They're particularly valuable when you're learning for a specific purpose – for instance, revising for an assessment or exam.

Who can delete review from Google? ›

To have a review removed, the person who wrote the review can delete the review, or a business can ask Google to remove an inappropriate review. Businesses can report a review for removal through Google Maps or Google Search.

Does Google tell who reported a review? ›

Does Google tell who reported a review? There's a common misconception that Google tells businesses who reported their reviews. This is not the case! Google does not share this information with business owners for privacy reasons.

How do I remove a negative review? ›

How To Remove Bad Reviews From Google
  1. Sign in to the Google account connected to your business listing.
  2. Find your business on Google Maps.
  3. Open the reviews section.
  4. Find the review you want to remove.
  5. Click the three dots in the top right corner and select “Flag as inappropriate”
  6. Fill out the form and submit it.
Jul 20, 2022

Are there fake 1 star Google reviews? ›

If it's overly positive or negative, or if it seems like it was written by someone who is not a native English speaker, it could be a fake review. Next, look at the date of the review. If all of the 1-star reviews are from the same day or week, they might be fake.

Can Google tell if reviews are fake? ›

The bad news is… none. Google will promptly remove reviews that violate its policies, including fake ones. In this post, we'll discuss how to spot fake Google Reviews, then we'll list the steps to report them to Google and remove them from your listing.

Can fake Google reviews be traced? ›

Can Google reviews be traced? Yes. Your IP address can be traced if you leave a Google review anonymously. Google can see your IP address when you post a review, even if you hide your name.

Which review sites can you trust? ›

Top 10 best review sites to get online reviews from your customers
Best Review WebsitesOnline Reviews Best For% U.S. Traffic (of Total)
Google My Businessany business19.6%
Amazone-commerce related63.6%
Facebookany business23.1%
Yelpany business87.5%
6 more rows
Aug 5, 2022

How do you trust online reviews? ›

5 Factors That Make People Trust (or Distrust) Online Reviews
  1. Recency of the online review.
  2. Relevance of the online review.
  3. Tone of the online review (positive or negative)
  4. Firsthand experience of the reviewer.
  5. Credibility of the reviewer.
Dec 16, 2020

How does Google flag fake reviews? ›

Reviews are automatically processed to detect inappropriate content like fake reviews and spam,” Google states in its prohibited and restricted content page, “We may take down reviews that are flagged in order to comply with Google policies or legal obligations.”

Does Google flag reviews? ›

If a review that has been written about your company on Google is inappropriate or inaccurate, you can flag the review for possible removal. It's worth noting that Google's policy does not allow businesses to flag reviews they don't agree with or delete reviews simply because they are negative.

Do companies post fake reviews? ›

Fake reviews are all over the internet and have become a big industry meant to fool consumers.

How do I manipulate Google reviews? ›

How To Remove Bad Reviews From Google
  1. Sign in to the Google account connected to your business listing.
  2. Find your business on Google Maps.
  3. Open the reviews section.
  4. Find the review you want to remove.
  5. Click the three dots in the top right corner and select “Flag as inappropriate”
  6. Fill out the form and submit it.
Jul 20, 2022

How do I deal with unfair Google reviews? ›

How to respond to bad reviews
  1. Respond in a timely manner. ...
  2. Stay professional and courteous. ...
  3. Understand your customer's experience with your business before responding. ...
  4. Apologize when appropriate but don't take responsibility for things that weren't your fault. ...
  5. Offer to talk it over.

What is the most trusted website? ›

We've gathered here several news websites with a good reputation.
  • BBC News. BBC News is one of the most trusted sources you can ever find. ...
  • The Economist. ...
  • The Wall Street Journal. ...
  • Google News. ...
  • The Guardian. ...
  • CNN.
Jan 29, 2023

How much can you trust online reviews? ›

According to the latest online review statistics, nearly half (49 percent) of all consumers say they trust the reviews they read online as much as personal recommendations (BrightLocal, 2022).

How do I make sure an online seller is legit? ›

8 Ways to Know If Online Stores Are Safe and Legit
  1. Use the free McAfee WebAdvisor to check for safe sites. ...
  2. Check the padlock in the address bar. ...
  3. Verify the website's trust seal. ...
  4. Use the Google Transparency Report. ...
  5. Check the company's social media presence. ...
  6. Analyze the overall look of the website.

Can you trust negative online reviews? ›

So if you're still wondering -- "Should I trust online reviews?" the answer is no. You should not trust online reviews -- at least not all of them. If you don't have the time to verify a review through a service like Fakespot, there are other ways to tell if product review is legit.


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