7 tips on how to definitely spot fake reviews

As we all know, tricksters are everywhere, so it's no surprise that they also like to cheat their way into reviews: they scam their way into fake customer reviews in order to boost their reputation. ProvenExpert shows how easy it is to detect fakes.

1. Firsthand evidence: Verified customers
2. If the review is conspicuously unremarkable, caution is advised
3. Size matters
4. Check the authors' other reviews
5. The frequency decides
6. Use a tool to help you
7. What should I do if I suspect a fake review?

Fake reviews are this simple

Whether the companies themselves set out to deceive or hire agencies, reviews have become a highly sought-after online commodity. What was once the recommendation of friends and acquaintances is now the online review, and companies are well aware of this. Not only are positive reviews offered for sale, but negative reviews to weaken competitors are also very popular. In this case, a review is submitted that simultaneously negatively evaluates the competitor and positively highlights the client and its product and service.

You rightly ask yourself, how are you supposed to distinguish fake from real with this professional approach? Many consumers nowadays know that all that glitters is not gold, so they primarily trust products with 3.5 to 4.5 star reviews. Therefore, check products and services with only 5 star reviews particularly critically. Learn how to distinguish a fake review from a serious one, despite deliberate spelling and grammar mistakes and the tricks of fake reviewers.

1. Firsthand evidence: Verified customers

Consumers are increasingly looking for information online, especially before making a purchase decision. Reviews and testimonials from buyers are important indicators for the decision to buy the product or not. It's annoying when the review turns out to be fake. But how can you recognize a genuine buyer? Genuine reviews are usually present when they are authentic buyers or actual users of a service. For this purpose, there is the trustworthy label "Verified Customer" or "Verified Purchase". Of course, this doesn't mean that only verified customers are real customers, but it serves as an orientation amidst the many reviews. Even giants like Amazon now rely on this label to make it easier for potential customers to make a purchase decision.

2.If the review is conspicuously unremarkable, caution is advised

Grammatical or spelling errors? Are not always an indication of authentic reviews. Sentences that sound as if they were translated by a robot? Texts full of the same keywords over and over again? Reviews that very often contain the product name written out in full? All these can be indications that it is a fake review. You read correctly, even a text full of spelling and grammatical errors can be fake. Anyone who deals with reviews professionally knows reviews that are too perfectly written tend to arouse distrust in readers. If reviews sound like they were written by a marketing professional, there is usually one behind them, so look for an accumulation of adjectives. If the product name is always written out in full, it is likely that someone is deliberately writing a review. This does not always have to be the company itself or an agency, testers are often lured by offers to write the most positive reviews possible. For example, the purchase price is refunded to them after a positive review.

Enough is enough, when are fake reviews actually a crime?

 


3. Size matters 

Fake reviews can often be recognized by the length of the text. Authentic customers and users rarely have time for lengthy reports and tend to give short, clear feedbacks. They get to the point quickly, without much embellishment. There are exceptions to the rule here, too, for example, when a product has been tested over a longer period of time. Then the reviews are often long and detailed. Nevertheless, you should subject long reviews to scrutiny. Texts of fake reviews are often very long. They also present incidental private stories, for example, of the dog and how he joyfully barked at the new product. If competitors are praised or criticized in detail in the long texts, this is another indicator of fake reviews. If advertising slogans or phrases appear in the texts about the product, this also indicates a fake review. Whether reviews use marketing phrases or there are other similarly worded reviews is easy to find out using search engines.


4. Check the authors' other reviews

It is also helpful to take a closer look at those who wrote he review: How often does this person submit reviews? What products or services do they review? Are only selected brand categories frequently reviewed or are only five-star ratings given? Is there an identifiable style to the reviews? How consistent are the judgments? If the answers to these questions reveal unusual accumulations and patterns, caution is advised. It seems reasonable to assume that someone is creating reviews professionally on behalf of a company. Likewise, caution is advised with reviews from users who have not submitted any other reviews at all. If the reviewer did not exist before his or her review of your product, it could be that the account was only created as a sham. Also very crazy or abstruse names can be an indication of a fake reviewer.

5. The frequency decides

If an excessive amount of praise or criticism is published digitally within a very short time, then a careful second look is advisable. If the reviews also sound very similar in terms of content, the assumption that it is a wave of fake reviews is obvious. If the reviews also follow directly after a negative or positive customer review, the case is usually clear: bought or fake reviews to "protect" or weaken the reputation. However, an accumulation of positive reviews does not always have to be an indication of a fake. For example, if companies call on satisfied customers to submit reviews in an email or social media call, an accumulation of positive reviews within a short period of time is nothing unusual. If you notice such a case, check the reviews for linguistic peculiarities before making a hasty judgment.

6. Use a tool to help you

Even the best screening may not yield the desired result, but if you are ever unsure, a tool can be helpful. With free tools like reviewmeta.com, for example, you can analyze Amazon reviews for trustworthiness. The result shows suspicious reviews for an Amazon product and also lists the reasons for lack of trustworthiness. At the same time, particularly trustworthy customer reviews are ideally highlighted with the "100% Trust" label. Even if the results do not provide absolute certainty, they can be a good indicator of whether a review is at least tending to be a fake.

Online reputation management services such as ProvenExpert.com also help: algorithms recognize conspicuous patterns - in addition, there are usually employees who specialize in recognizing fake reviews and protecting users from them.

Other tools for checking for fakes: The Review Index and Fakespot.

7. What should I do if I suspect a fake review?

Small tip: Always check reviews, whether positive or negative, critically and carefully if they are conspicuous. In the case of defamatory or slanderous statements, contact a lawyer and take action against the review. If you are sure that the reviewer was not a customer and the review is fake, use the measures offered by the platform. You can usually report reviews as a profile owner if they are demonstrably false or there was no business relationship. However, the reviews are then not always removed or marked as fake reviews. Therefore, confront the review from the outset and take a stand on the allegations. Mistakes can happen, take responsibility. But protect your reputation if the fault is not yours, show understanding, but do not apologize.

Your own reputation comes first for you? Take the matter into your own hands.

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ProvenExpert is the online platform for qualified customer feedback and review aggregation. A tool that enables business owners and service providers of all sizes to actively seek customer reviews with industry-specific survey templates, bundle existing customer reviews in one location and present the overall score in a way that makes it more effective. Already more than 150,000 entrepreneurs and service providers of all sizes benefit from ProvenExpert.