Tells FTC: Require More Transparency from Review Platforms
Fox 9 Minneapolis reports on FRW investigation: A Minnesota dental practice is getting Google reviews from people who are also reviewing the same vape shop, the same Florida locksmith, and the same Australian restaurant. "Not believable," says Kay Dean. Fox 9 says the Minnesota Board of Dentistry is apparently skeptical as well. See the FRW report here.
Fox 4 Kansas City reports on Fake Review Watch investigation: We all want to trust that five-star review. But some Kansas City metro businesses have had hundreds of them removed after fraud expert Kay Dean called them out for having fake reviews.
InvestigateTV highlights Fake Review Watch research into fake negative Google reviews for a Washington real estate agent. Includes an interview with Kay Dean.
The Today show on NBC airs a segment focusing on a Fake Review Watch investigation into fake Yelp, Google, and Facebook reviews for a Los Angeles dentist.
Fox 26 in Houston drills into fake Google reviews for dentists based on a Fake Review Watch investigation.
Investigate TV explores the growing problem of fake online reviews. Includes interview with Fake Review Watch's Kay Dean.
Based on our research, Australia's A Current Affair aired a story on fake Google reviews for a "dodgy" Melbourne dentist.
NBC Bay Area story based on our research about Yelp Elites being recruited on Instagram to post fake reviews for cash.
NBC Affiliate WTHR Channel 13 in Indianapolis reports on a Fake Review Watch investigation about fake Facebook and Google reviews for an Indiana pediatric dental practice.
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation investigation into 1200 North American businesses getting fake Google reviews features Fake Review Watch.
Kay Dean of Fake Review Watch leads Reveal's correspondent into the underworld of fake online reviews.
The feds are investigating moving companies that rip off consumers, but maybe they should be investigating Yelp as well. Four moving companies are receiving fake reviews across 14 Yelp pages. This case follows the trail from two previous Fake Review Watch investigations and media stories which Yelp belatedly acted on, but does Yelp do anything proactive? No. It allows the faking for the movers while consumers get duped.
Google is saturated with fake reviews. See what one network of fake Google profiles has been up to during a two week period. The same profiles are propping up Ohio law firm Patituce & Associates, an Australian hair salon, a Chicago moving company, a Massachusetts nail salon, and a Florida locksmith with fake 5-star reviews while simultaneously review bombing two Vancouver animal hospitals with fake 1-star reviews.
You can't trust Yelp for reliable reviews, in part because of its bogus recommendation software. Why are reviews for different businesses by the SAME person simultaneously recommended and not recommended by Yelp? Hey Yelp, is this person reliable or not? Perhaps something else is going on here. . .
Fake Review Watch details the multiple reasons why you should NOT trust Google reviews.
Online marketers use Instagram to recruit Yelp Elites to post fake reviews for cash. In a Fake Review Watch exclusive, a Yelp Elite provides details of how this goes down on Instagram. We then examine other Yelp Elites the same marketer is following on Instagram.
Hello, Google, anyone home? A network of Google profiles is providing fake reviews for businesses, including dentists in Texas and Washington. Mason Park Dental in Katy, Texas, Dentist Tree in Houston and Cypress, and dentist Dr. Addie Chang in Tukwila, Washington, are all receiving 5-star reviews from this network. However, Dr. Bill Pope, a pediatric dentist in McAllen, Texas, is getting review bombed with 1-star reviews from this same network.
A review seller on Facebook advertises that he has Yelp reviews for reasonable prices and posts a couple of his Yelp profiles for all to see. Following the trail, we find fake reviews for a Bay Area contractor, Serenity Remodeling, and other businesses. Yelp recommends these reviews as trustworthy. So much for Yelp's highly touted recommendation software.
Smiling Kids Pediatric Dentistry in Indianapolis is receiving fake Facebook recommendations and Google reviews. A ring of offshore review providers operating in a Facebook group appears to be behind the reviews.
The worldwide ocean of Google reviews is rife with pollution. A New Jersey medical clinic, a German software company, an art gallery in Dubai, a UK flooring and furniture company, and a Pakistani logistics service, among other businesses, are receiving Google reviews from the same profiles. Some of these profiles are even using lifted photos of Hollywood figures as their profile pictures.
U.S. businesses use a Bangladeshi Facebook group to post fake Google and Trustpilot reviews. Businesses faking include The Center: A Place of Hope, a mental health facility in Edmonds, Washington; Southern California Pain Consultants in Torrance; and Rheumatology Therapeutics Medical Center in Los Angeles.
Don't trust any online review site. This is a case study in how one contractor games multiple review sites. LA Green Development, a solar and roofing company in Los Angeles, is faking reviews on Yelp, Google, Facebook, Buildzoom, Houzz, Porch, the Better Business Bureau, and Angie's List.
Fake Review Watch is run by Kay Dean, a former federal fraud investigator, who has conducted an in depth investigation over six years into fake reviews on Yelp, Google, Facebook, and other review sites. Photo by Lance Yamamoto/SFGATE
We're looking out for consumers who are being deceived by big tech and dishonest businesses.