7 On Your Side: How to spot fake reviewers online

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Monday, January 25, 2021
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Nina Pineda tells you how to spot fake online reviews with 7 On Your Side.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The quarantine and store closures have many of us purchasing plenty of items online plus doing home improvement projects.

Often, people are relying on online reviews to tell us if a product or a company is good or not.

So how can you tell if a review is real or a fake?

Who knew writing fake reviews is a cottage industry?

Fake reviews farms as they're known get paid to churn out bogus write-ups and right now they're ramping up reviews for stuff that's hot and high on our list.

Fitness equipment and new appliances are in high demand and so are contractors and builders to do all those renovations we are working on around the house.

First off, don't be swayed by the stars.

Small business expert Angelique Rewers warns a five-star review given by a "verified" buyer can be a red flag the review isn't from a real consumer.

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Especially when those 5 stars includes a call to act like "get yours now" or "must buy quick."

Also, look for signs like over the top adjectives.

If you're shopping for a phone charger or an electric toothbrush and the reviews calls it "amazing" or "life-changing" that's just out of whack.

So are phrases like "simply the best curtain company in the business, you're reading marketing material and not a real opinion.

Some other big giveaways, fake reviewers often use this "IMHO, in my honest, in my humble opinion," that's a red flag.

Research usernames by clicking on the user profile. If you see tons of five-star reviews for lots of products, they're a "professional" reviewers.

If you're curious, email the reviewers. Usually, real people are happy to respond, but you won't hear back from the phonies.

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Do you have an issue with a company that you haven't been able to resolve? If so, 7 On Your Side wants to help you!

Email 7OnYourSideNina@abc.com, or contact Nina on her Facebook page or tweet her at Twitter @7OnYourSideNY! You can also call the 7 On Your Side Hotline at 917-260-7697 or fill out the form below.