On November 2, 2018, the New York Attorney General came crashing down on a number of moving services that paid for at least 60 fake positive online reviews posted under the heading “CHECK OUT OUR REVIEWS POSTED BY CUSTOMERS JUST LIKE YOU.” As a result, the only checking being done will be from the businesses’ bank account when they shell out over $65,000 in penalties and costs.
Fake online reviews have always been the bane of legitimate shoppers. What’s the first thing you do when you find a snow blower online? You read the reviews. How’s about a restaurant? You read the reviews. In fact, statistics show that a whopping 88% of shoppers incorporate online reviews into their purchase decisions, and being the lazy consumers that we are, the number one factor is the star rating. While we think we can weed through the fake and the for real, the bottom line is who the heck knows if Caroline L. from New York, NY really liked her bicycle? We don’t. A Harvard Business School/BU report from a few years back states that 20% of all online reviews on Yelp! were fake. Yikes! (more…)