Includes interview with Fake Review Watch's Kay Dean
NBC Bay Area produced a 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 Laura Sydell into the underworld of fake online 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.
Two Yelp Elites provide Fake Review Watch with inside information on being recruited via Instagram to post fake reviews for money.
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.
This Fake Review Watch video formed the basis of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's investigation into a North American fake review network. This network is faking Google reviews for over 1200 businesses. A disturbing number of U.S. medical, mental health, and dental practices appear to be part of this network. The CBC story was released on May 24, 2021.
Fake consumer reviews are a massive problem on Yelp, Google and other sites. Facebook is the source of much of this fraud. Nobody, not district attorneys, not regulators like the FTC, nor Big Tech is doing anything about it. In fact, Big Tech profits whether reviews are real or fake.
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.
Fake Review Watch's video Bangladeshi Facebook Group Fakes Google and Trustpilot Reviews for US Businesses prompted Trustpilot to slap a warning on its site for The Center: A Place of Hope, a mental health treatment facility in Edmonds, Washington. The warning states that Trustpilot has "detected a number of fake reviews for this company."
Yelp's Elite program is corrupted with members who sell fake reviews. There is a black market for Yelp Elite reviews in Facebook review exchange groups. We point out 8 Yelp Elite reviewers who are faking reviews for southern California contractors.
Torrance Hernia Center, a surgery center in southern California, is faking its Yelp reviews, but Yelp hides this information from consumers.
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.
Google is riddled with fake consumer reviews. Thousands of fake Google reviews are arranged via Facebook review exchange groups. Google does far too little to clean up the fraud.
Fake Review Watch is run by Kay Dean, a former federal fraud investigator, who has conducted an in depth investigation over four years into fake reviews on Yelp, Google, Facebook, and other review sites.
We're looking out for consumers who are being deceived by big tech and dishonest businesses.