Fact or Fiction: How to Spot a Fake Review
June 8, 2016
It’s not uncommon to come across fake reviews on various websites. From the trendy recommendation website Yelp, to the popular social media platform Facebook, fake reviews are there, waiting to fool the next reader. Whether you’re a business owner or a customer, it’s highly advantageous to be able to spot which reviews hold merit vs. which ones hold little to no truth.
Length and Tone of Review – Often if the review is very short, it may be a fake. If they are only interested in affecting the overall score, they may keep the content brief. Keep an eye out for write-ups that only contain 5-10 words. Fake reviews tend to be vague and exclude pertinent product details. Trolls tend to keep reviews vague with limited details about the product itself. This way, the same review can be used for various businesses and products.
Listen to the Language of the Review – A genuine review will summarize and critique the product and/or services offered. Beware of reviews that overuse emotional phrases such as, “wonderful, amazing, pathetic, ridiculous, waste of time, etc.” On the flipside, watch out for recommendations that are overly technical. Chances are that if the review sounds like it was copied and pasted from either a product or business description, it’s insincere.
Proof is in the Details – If you had a bad experience with a certain business or had a problem with a specific product, you’ll be able to go into great detail as to why. A review that feature a generic complaint such as, “They were rude to me” is more than likely fabricated vs. a complaint that goes into detail such as, “The Account Manager had trouble comprehending my questions and freaked out on me – screaming and all.”
Having the ability to identify fake reviews will save you both the stress and time sifting through them. If you feel like you need assistance, there are numerous websites, such as Review Skeptic, that have high statistics of recognizing phonies. The truth always prevails!