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Spotting Fake Reviews

Whenever we think about buying a product online, we ensure that we buy all user reviews. After all, it is helpful to know what people who had bought the item before you experienced. I have personally found online reviews very helpful over the years as they helped me decide if a product was worth the money I was paying for it.

However, with time, I started noticing something odd about the reviews. Some reviews looked like they were written by the same person. They had similar sentences, and a couple of them even had the same spelling mistakes. I was intrigued by how this could happen. Then I found out that fake reviews are very common in the industry.

Fake reviews can distort the perceived reputation of a product, creating an inaccurate reflection of its quality. To identify these fraudulent reviews, I found that it’s necessary to closely observe the language used, the consistency of reviews, and the credibility of the reviewers. Fake reviews may often have an overuse of overly positive or overly negative reviews with generic language. To evade this, I prefer to use reliable platforms like Ask Harvey and similar others, which have more authentic and genuine feedback about products.

That said, I’m now on a mission to help everyone navigate in these fraudulent waters more effectively. Therefore, I am bringing to you some ways in which you can spot a fake review.

Is the review too short?

You may find that the review may be too short- sometimes using just three to four words. This could mean that the review is fake. The main purpose of this type of reviews is to simply alter the star rating of a product and to show that a product is being liked by most of the reviewers. As is obvious, most people do not have the time to read through all of the reviews, so they take the star rating into account and see how many of those are 4-star or 5-star.

Check for the language

You also need to check out if the language of the review appears too emotional. The marketing teams of different brands try to leave comments like “wonderful,” “awesome.” On the other hand, rival companies try to leave comments “awful,” “will never buy again” etc. on the products. You must try to steer clear of this kind of comments. If they are short and contain such language, you will be better off not believing these comments.

Check out other reviews from the commenter

Sometimes, you will find that a reviewer has not left any other comments other those on a specific product or a specific category of products. This could mean that it is a marketing account. A normal person buys a variety of products online, and they may also leave comments for other products. If you don’t find this kind of activity, then the reviewer could be fake.

Check if it is verified the purchase

One way to know for sure if a review is real or fake is to check whether it is a verified purchase. Note that some people are offered perks like rewards, money or even free products for leaving reviews on a product. When you see a verified purchase tag around the review, you can be sure that the review came from someone who actually went on to buy the product.

Do you ever come across fake reviews? Do you know about any new ways in which these reviews could be spotted? If yes, then share them with us and help other people buy safely.

Look out for reviews that are clustered together

Sometimes a company will pay several people to leave a great five-star review to improve the overall rating of a product. Clever right? Well, they usually pay quite a few people to do this around the same time. This means that you’ll find suddenly there are five or six positive reviews all posted around the same time, all surrounded by negative reviews. This should be an obvious red flag. If you see lots of positive reviews published over the course of a short period, you should automatically be weary. However, try to take into consideration that there may have been an offer or a promotion around a similar time which could potentially influence this. For example, if the company offered a 50% off discount or a buy one get one free offer, people might have felt that the product was worth the money that they spent on it at the time. Keep a keen eye out for mentions of offers like this as they could easily have influenced the customers perceived value for money – meaning that these would not be fake reviews.

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