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How to recognize fake reviews

Reviews are the second most important source of information to determine whether the website is selling what they promise, whether they offer good service and if the company respect its customers. With reviews customers can tell everyone who is interested about their experience and pass the knowledge.

Fake review market is growing

There are people who try to make money by writing tons of reviews. They usually write on third-party platforms (you can check our article what is a third party review platform) like: Google reviews, Trust Pilot, Trip Advisor or social media sites. Companies are built just to write reviews and increase Instagram or Twitter followers and they are asking for hefty amounts

Price table

Google reviews

5 reviews - $30
10 reviews - $60
20 reviews - $110
50 reviews - $240
100 reviews - $500
200 reviews - $950

Trustpilot reviews

5 reviews - $45
10 reviews - $80
20 reviews - $160

Instagram followers

500 Followers - $8
100 Followers - $14
200 reviews - $24
5 000 Followers - $60
10 000 Followers - $120

Because of these services, it comes down to us – consumers to spot whether the review is fake or not. However, it is relatively difficult to spot a fake review, based on research by Cornell University, the accuracy rate is only 57%.

Tips on how to recognize fake reviews

It is relatively difficult to spot fake reviews, however there are characteristics that stands out in fake reviews

  • Me and I: more often than not, fake reviews include many personal pronouns. This way they try to make themselves more credible
  • Scene: Truthful reviews, usually include specific details like curtains in the bathroom, grip of the shaver etc. On the other hand, fake reviews try to set a scene like “vacation”, “my friend” or “does a great job”
  • Profile: This one is the easiest, to check the profile of reviewer. There are two kinds of fake reviewers, new users to just to write a review or users with only 5-star reviews. For both check the picture, name and additional information
  • Timing: If there are many great reviews in a short time window, be cautious. However, consider the sale / holiday period or release of new product
  • Verified purchases: Check if the reviewer can prove they bought a good or service. This will highly improve the credibility
  • Language: Check for unnatural phrases and mistakes. Check multiple reviews to compare if they use the same logic or writing style
  • Contact reviewer: Some review sites allow to reach out to reviewers. Use this to ask about their experience, because fake reviewers never respond and truthful will probably do so since they wrote a review.

Nonetheless, websites like Scamadviser.com looks deeper than a review and estimates a score based on multiple data points.

If you want to learn more about reviews and try yourself with a quiz, we recommend these sites: Theconversation.com and marketwatch.com.

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