RALEIGH, N.C. -- Online reviews are helpful because you see experiences that others had with businesses or products, but not all reviews are created equal. Whether the reviews are positive or negative, online reviews are being read as researchers have found nearly all consumers read reviews before they shop.
Anoop Joshi with Trustpilot, a review platform website says reviews can cost consumers, "They can lure a consumer into believing that a product is better than it actually is. That a business is delivering a service that is better than it actually is and that can lead to consumers not making the right decisions." Joshi adds that by using technology along with analyzing review content, Trustpilot removed 2.7 million fake reviews in 2022. "Where did the reviewer come from? What's their IP address? What's their location? How is that location relevant to what they're reviewing, or where they are reviewing a business," Joshi says the company looks at when determining if a review is fake or real.
The Troubleshooter takeaways to help you spot a fake is you need to look at the history of the person making the review, and also look for context and repeated naming of a business or product. Another tip is to look for bad grammar or a review that seems too extreme whether that be negative or positive. One more tip to remember is several shopping websites, automatically show you top reviews first. Instead, see if you can filter reviews to the most recent to see the most up-to-date reviews.
If you spot what you think is a fake review, many platforms let you report it. Doing this not only helps the platforms eliminate fake reviews faster but also helps protect other consumers.