How to spot fake reviews (Online shopping)
The following is an article published by the US PIRG Education Fund. While it discusses some tips, it may not be the most reliable, relevant or helpful in your circumstances. A review of this information seems to be credible and reliable to some degree and applicable to most online shopping experiences.
Spotting fake reviews is difficult, but these seven tips can help you sort through the hundreds of reviews that can be found when shopping online:
Look at the dates of the reviews. If there are many reviews in a short period of time, it can be an indication the reviews are fake. A listing that has a diverse range of reviews from different periods of time can be more trustworthy.
Pay attention to the language of the review. A study done by Cornell University researchers looking at real and fake hotel reviews found that the real reviews used straightforward language. They said “hotel,” “bathroom” and “check-in” versus fake story-telling reviews that tried to set a scene by using words such as “vacation,” “business trip” and “my husband.”
Watch out for reviews that use similar language. If there are many reviews posted in a short period of time using similar language, that’s a good indication the reviews could be fake. In exchange for a free product, there could be an expectation for a consumer to use certain phrases when reviewing the product.
Check out the reviewer. A generic sounding name can be an indication that the review was made by a fake account. If a reviewer has submitted only one review on one product, that can also be a sign of a fake review.
Beware of social media reviews. The FTC guidelines on disclosures require influencers to reveal they have a financial, employment, personal or family relationship with a brand when promoting their product. Popular social media influencers have come under scrutiny for not disclosing their relationship with a brand while telling their audience to purchase or use a product.
See whether the reviewer’s purchase was verified.
Some online retailers will tell you. A review that shows it was from a verified purchaser is more trustworthy than a review involving a supposed purchase that has not been verified.
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. When leaving an honest review, most customers aren’t overly positive or negative. They could have a good experience, but still have criticism on one aspect. If it sounds like the best thing that’s ever been sold, there’s room to be skeptical.