Online shopping giant Amazon has been flooded with fake five-start reviews according to consumer group Which?
The consumer group probed popular items such as headphones, smart watches and other technology, noting that the 14 categories that it looked at were dominated largely by unknown brands – defined as non household name brands.
When searching the headphones category, Which? reported of the 12,000 reviews from the first page results, 87% were from unverified purchases. A potential telltale sign of illegitimate reviews.
In one of the examples for headphones, an unknown brand called Celebrat had 439 reviews, all of which were five-star and posted on the same day.
What is a fake review?
A fake review isn’t an honest and impartial opinion of a product or service.
The person writing the review may have been paid or given the product for free in exchange for a review, which may influence the person’s opinion. Some reviews may be for products that the buyer has purchased for a gift, so may not have experienced the product directly. In that case, is this a genuine review?
How to spot a a fake review
- Inspect the comments – don’t rely on star ratings alone
- Watch out for suspicious language – if it looks and sounds like an ad, it probably is
- Be suspicious of a large number of reviews in quick succession
- Check the reviewer’s other reviews
- Pay attention to mid-range reviews for a more balanced view
- Watch out for admitted bias – bought an item for a gift, but they haven’t used the product themselves
- Look for verified purchases
- Check out what else the reviewer has bought