How to determine if an online review is fake

It can be challenging to determine if a review is fake. It’s often not online, but many things don’t seem to indicate the review is genuine or fake. The consequences of fake reviews can be significant for a business, which is why every business needs to encourage genuine reviews, which will quickly push a fake review off the first page of reviews and decrease the weight of that review in the composite “score” for that company.

As a business owner who has had several fake reviews–at least one from an employee of a competitor and several from the yoga studio below with whom we are having a noise dispute (who knew “yoga” could be so loud?) Here is how we deal with fake reviews.

1. Extreme Positivity or Negativity: Be skeptical of overly positive or negative reviews. Genuine reviews often include a mix of positive and negative feedback.

2. Lack of Specific Details: Fake reviews are vague and lack specific details about the product or service. Look for reviews that provide specific examples or experiences.

3. Repetitive Language: Fake reviews may use repetitive language or phrases. They may also use excessive exclamation points or capitalization.

4. Generic Language: Watch out for reviews that use generic language that could apply to any product or service. Genuine reviews are usually more specific.

5. Limited Profile Information: Check the reviewer’s profile. It may be a sign of a fake account if it has little to no information, no profile picture, or a generic username.

6. Multiple Reviews in a Short Time: It could be suspicious if a user posts multiple reviews for different products or services in a short time frame.

7. Unusual Spelling and Grammar: Fake reviews often have poor spelling and grammar. Look for reviews with unusual or incorrect language usage.

8. Overuse of Marketing Buzzwords: Be cautious of reviews that contain excessive marketing buzzwords or industry jargon.

9. Contradictory Information: Check if the information in the review contradicts other reliable sources or reviews.

10. Unverified Purchase: On platforms like Amazon, a “Verified Purchase” label indicates that the reviewer bought the product. Be more skeptical of reviews from unverified purchases.

11. Check Reviewer History: Look at the reviewer’s history. It may be suspicious if they have a history of only leaving extremely positive or extremely negative reviews.

12. Suspicious Timing: Be wary of reviews posted immediately after a product launch or during a controversy. Fake reviews are often timed strategically.

13. Check Multiple Platforms: Cross-reference reviews on multiple platforms. It could be a red flag if you see similar suspicious reviews on different sites.

14. Investigate the Business: Research the business’s reputation and see if a pattern of fake reviews is associated with it.

15. Trust Your Gut: If a review seems too good to be true or doesn’t sound genuine, trust your instincts.

how to spot fake reviews