How to spot fake reviews

With the holiday season approaching, you may be checking online reviews for products you’re considering gifting to loved ones. Whether you’re ordering something through an online store or doing research on a product you want to buy in person, you want to make sure you’re making a smart buying decision. Unfortunately, fake reviews are rampant across the web. How do you know what reviews you can trust? We’ve compiled some tips to help you recognize which reviews are authentic.

Examine the timing of reviews

Large clumps of reviews being posted at the same time can be a red flag, especially around the time that a product has been released. While it’s possible that the reviews are real, proceed with caution. Unethical businesses can hire fake reviewers to leave positive feedback and when they do, the reviewers often post during the same timeframe.

Focus on the language reviewers use

Oftentimes, fake reviewers overcompensate when they write reviews. Because they want to sound genuine, they’ll use words like “I” and “me” more frequently in fake reviews. They’re also more likely to tell a story in a review so they don’t have to give detailed information about the product itself.

Check the reviewer’s profile

When writing fake reviews, the reviewers don’t often take the time to fill their profiles with specific information about who they are. Fake reviewers want to blend in to the crowd to insure their fake reviews fly under the radar. Be wary of reviews left by people who lack personal information, have generic names or don’t have profile photos.

Read middle-of-the-road reviews

While you want to get the best result for your dollar, oftentimes rave reviews lack detail about what makes the product so great. Have a look at reviews that are less than stellar; they often have the most detailed information about why they didn’t like the product. Reading these reviews can also mention aspects of the product which may not bother others but could make a difference in your buying decisions!

Check bbb.org

At BBB, we take extra care to reduce the amount of fake reviews on our business profiles. Our staff sorts through reviews and asks the reviewer send documentation proving their purchase of a product or service. You can also check bbb.org for information about the latest scams circulating the web so you know if that product promotion is too good to be true.

While it’s almost impossible to know with 100% certainty what reviews are genuine or fake, using these tips can make a big difference. To add extra piece of mind, remember to review a retailer’s return policy and see if they offer gift receipts. And remember, you can always check bbb.org to find a trustworthy business!

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