Who’s Really Behind Fake Online Reviews?

Reviews, reviews and more reviews.

Jason Brown of ReviewFraud participated in an interesting investigative news report on fake reviews. He wrote about it on his blog: Bulletproof Digital busted selling Fake reviews to NBCLA.  Here is NBC Southern California report:

Who’s Really Behind Fake Online Reviews?

Jason also covered an interesting story in the review space that doesn’t seem to die, Review solicitation and blackmail  about a small SEO firm in Colorado that was threatened for blogging about a review company in the space.

Last week though was a busy one on the review front for me and around the web as well. I participated in several webinars and there were some other interesting articles.

Video Webinar : The Ins and Out of Reviews and Reputation in 2018 – Local University Join David Mihm, Aaron Weiche, Joy Hawkins & me as we look at the changing roll of reviews. (video + transcript)

Video Deep Dive: A Look at Review Spam with Jason Brown & Joy “The Hawk” Hawkins – Local University – Spam? What spam? Google has yet to get their spam act together against networks buying reviews. We look at the implications. (video + transcript)

How to Deal with Fake Negative Reviews on Google – Joy Hawkins explains what to do when your business is attacked.


Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
Who's Really Behind Fake Online Reviews? by

7 thoughts on “Who’s Really Behind Fake Online Reviews?”

  1. Mike I love this story! I wonder why all the Google local hucksters are from Orange County. Did they all meet at the golf course or something? Or is OC just a great sunny place to live for those without a soul?

  2. I recently bought an item online and when the package showed up, I noticed a letter inside the box stating that I could receive 10% off my next order if I were to leave a review on their social media.

    Do you think this would fall under “Fake Review”? I was thinking of doing this with my own business until I read this article…

    Thanks for any feedback and advice!

    1. @trevor
      It’s a review in violation of the site TOS.

      It’s a review that is in violation of FTC and state AG guidelines and could incur penalties.

      It’s a review that just needs to piss off one customer to bring the house down.

      1. @mike

        Thats what I was thinking- They are basically “buying” a review just like the article mentioned above! I’m glad I found this article.

        Thanks for the reply!

  3. @Mike and @Trevor

    I agree with Mike about it still being a fake review. Whenever I look at reviews I want to know what they really thought about the product and not that they were given money or a discount to leave a review.

    With that said, If you want to have a note inside the box thanking them for their order and wishing them well with their product that would be totally fine. The customer would be more inclined to leave a review on the product as well as commenting on your customer service.

    Best of luck to you and your business!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments links could be nofollow free.