November 13, 2023 story by Stuart A. Thompson for The New York Times. Thompson reports on the case of Manhattan orthopedic surgeon Mark Mohrmann, who was penalized $100,000 by the New York Attorney General for manipulating his online reviews, and launches into a larger discussion of the fake review problem. FRW provided the research for the Mohrmann case both for the NY AG and the NY Times. Includes an interview with Kay Dean.
November 9, 2023 story by Walt Kane for News 12 New Jersey. Based on Fake Review Watch research, News 12 investigates fake Yelp reviews for a New Jersey moving company. Includes an interview with Kay Dean.
November 6, 2023 story by Linda Wagar for Fox 4 in Kansas City. Fox 4 reports on Fake Review Watch investigation into fake Google reviews for Kansas City area businesses, including a chiropractic clinic. Includes an interview with Kay Dean.
October 24, 2023 radio show by Georgia Tolley for the Agenda on Dubai Eye 103.8 in the United Arab Emirates. Experts have warned that almost a third of online product and service reviews are fake. But how can we tell the honest from the better avoided? Hear the discussion, including an interview with Kay Dean, beginning at the 2:10 mark.
October 18, 2023 story by Lisa Jennings for Restaurant Business on the FTC's proposed rule cracking down on fake reviews and its effect on the restaurant industry. Includes an interview with Kay Dean on the scope of the fake review problem and the failure of the FTC rule to address the role of the review sites in contributing to the plethora of fake reviews. (Log-in required)
October 15, 2023 story by Chris Chmura, Alyssa Goard, and Alex Bozovic for NBC Bay Area. Following up on a Fake Review Watch investigation, NBC Bay Area pursues fake Yelp reviews for DriveSavers Data Recovery. Based in the Bay Area, DriveSavers serves customers nationwide. Includes an interview with Kay Dean
October 4, 2023 story by Manjula Selvarajah, tech columnist for CBC Radio in Canada. Selvarajah discusses Yelp's new "Hall of Shame", a list of businesses that have received Yelp consumer alerts over the years. However, Kay Dean says it's functionally useless to consumers since it can't be searched by business name, city, or state.
September 25, 2023 interview of Kay Dean by Gary Harper and Susan Campbell for Arizona's Family and KTVK 3TV/KPHO CBS 5 in Phoenix. Includes both a TV story and longer podcast on the fake review problem.
September 10, 2023 interview of Kay Dean by Peter Anthony Holder in episode #0734 of the Stuph Files. Holder discusses fake reviews with Kay Dean, the scope of the problem, and who is most responsible. The interview begins at the 8:40 mark of the podcast.
September 4, 2023 story by Keely Arthur for WRAL TV in Raleigh, North Carolina. Consumer Reports provided this information to media outlets across the country about the prevalence of fake online reviews and tips on how to spot them. Includes an interview with Kay Dean.
August 15, 2023 story by Amritpal Kaur Sandhu-Longoria for USA Today. The FTC is proposing new rules to crack down on fake online reviews and fine people who post them. Includes comments provided to the FTC on the proposed rules, including the comment by Fake Review Watch that the review sites themselves bear much of the responsibility for fake reviews.
August 8, 2023 story by Alice Giordano for the Epoch Times. The FTC is proposing a rule to crack down on fake reviews, but the measure will not hold third-party review platforms such as Facebook, Yelp, and Google accountable. Includes commentary from Kay Dean. (Log-in required)
July 3, 2023 story by Tom Zizka for Fox 26 Houston. Kay Dean provides expert analysis in this story on the proposed FTC rule banning fake online reviews and the fact that it will not apply to review sites themselves.
July 2, 2023 interview with Pauline Frommer. Pauline Frommer discusses fake online reviews and the travel industry with Kay Dean. See podcast episode S1E502, the second interview.
June 30, 2023 story by Geoffrey A. Fowler for the Washington Post. Report on the proposed rule by the FTC to ban fake reviews, highlighting that it won't apply to the review sites. Includes an interview with Kay Dean.
June 30, 2023 story by Jennifer Williams for Fox 5 New York. Report on the proposed rule by the FTC to ban fake reviews. Includes an interview with Kay Dean.
June 14, 2023 story by Stephen Council for SFGATE. A profile of Kay Dean, the story discusses how Dean started investigating fake reviews and launched Fake Review Watch. The focus is on review fraud on Yelp.
March 28, 2023 story by Darcy Spears for KTNV-TV Las Vegas. In a follow-up to Part I on fake reviews for a Las Vegas pool builder, Part II of this story focuses on the culpability of Yelp and other tech companies for the proliferation of fake online reviews. Based on Fake Review Watch research and includes an interview with Kay Dean.
March 27, 2023 story by Darcy Spears for KTNV-TV Las Vegas. Part I of this two-part piece exposes fake Yelp, Google, and Facebook reviews for a Las Vegas pool builder. Based on Fake Review Watch research, and includes an interview with Kay Dean. Yelp removed over 200 previously recommended reviews for the business after being contacted by Spears.
February 24, 2023 article in CQ Researcher by Kathleen Day. Scholarly, thoroughly researched article on the scope of the fake review problem (perhaps 45% of reviews are fake!), the legal and regulatory challenges, and the reforms needed. The piece opens with research by Kay Dean on fake 5-star Yelp reviews for a California contractor.
December 1, 2022 story by Nils Ragnar Lovhaug for Norweigian TV2 Helper in Oslo. Based on initial Fake Review Watch research, TV2 Helper investigated fake reviews for three Oslo restaurants with the same owner. Includes comments from Kay Dean.
November 1, 2022 story by Bettie Cross for CBS Austin, Texas. Consumers rely heavily on online reviews, but many of those reviews are fake. Includes an interview with Kay Dean.
October 17, 2022 InvestigateTV story by Rachel DePompa and Daniela Molina. Report centered on FRW research into fake negative reviews for a Washington real estate agent. Includes an interview with Kay Dean.
October 11, 2022 story on CTV News Toronto by Pat Foran. Report focuses on fake Amazon product reviews, but includes discussion of fake business reviews. Includes an interview with Kay Dean.
August 17, 2022 story on Medscape by Frankie Rowland. Report on Fake Review Watch research into the problem of doctors procuring fake positive reviews. Includes an interview with Kay Dean.
August 8, 2022 story on Australia's A Current Affair by Sam Cucchiara. Report on Fake Review Watch research into a Melbourne dentist receiving fake Google reviews. Includes an interview with the dentist, and with Kay Dean.
August 1, 2022 article on Axios by Emily Peck. Advice by experts on how to spot fake online reviews, including Kay Dean's advice to stick with getting reviews from REAL people, not virtual ones.
July 21, 2022 story on NBC Today by Kate Snow, Brenda Breslauer, Yasmine Salam, and A. Pawlowski. NBC's Today takes on fake reviews for doctors, and uses Fake Review Watch research on Los Angeles dentist Dr. Mansour Zakhor as a case study. Includes an interview with Kay Dean.
July 20, 2022 story on Fox 26 in Houston by Heather Sullivan. Fake Review Watch research is the foundation of this story on the problem of fake reviews, both positive and negative. Fake positive Google reviews for two Houston area dentists are highlighted. Includes an interview with Kay Dean.
July 14, 2022 story on Australian ABC Radio by Luke Siddham Dundon. A negative fake review campaign targeted restaurants from San Francisco to Chicago in July, concerning small business owners worldwide. Includes an interview with Kay Dean.
July 8, 2022 story in Bradford Today by Natasha Philpott. A small town Ontario restaurant gets review bombed with apparently fake negative reviews on Google, Yelp, Tripadvisor, and Facebook, creating major headaches for the owner. Kay Dean is interviewed as an expert.
July 6, 2022 story in Time by Megan McCluskey explains the enormous problem of fake online reviews across numerous platforms. Highlights Kay Dean's efforts with Fake Review Watch to inform the public of the problem.
July 6, 2022 story on 9 News Melbourne, Australia, by Allanah Sciberras. Fake Google reviews for a Melbourne dentist and a Preston painter are highlighted in this piece. The research for this story was conducted by Kay Dean, who is also interviewed.
Op-Ed by Kathryn Dean published in the Toronto Star on June 20, 2022. Fake Google and Facebook reviews for a Toronto dentist highlight the problem: Don't count on the tech companies to police their reviews and inform consumers about fakes.
June 20, 2022 InvestigateTV story by Rachel DePompa and Daniela Molina. Fake online reviews for both products and businesses are a serious problem. Includes discussion of fake reviews on various platforms, and the use of Facebook as a marketplace for fake reviews. Includes an interview with Kay Dean.
June 15, 2022 story on CTV News Toronto by Pat Foran. CTV News uses Fake Review Watch research to expose a Toronto dental practice receiving fake Google and Facebook reviews.
May 27, 2022 story on Fox 13 TV Tampa Bay by Kellie Cowan. A Tampa cigar shop owner deals with the problem of fake negative Google reviews and Google's unresponsiveness. Kay Dean is interviewed as an expert.
May 12, 2022 article accompanying TV story on Norwegian TV 2 by Nils Ragnar Lovhaug. Fake reviews aren't just a U.S. problem. Norwegian TV 2 takes an in-depth look at the various facets of the fake review problem. Kay Dean is interviewed as an expert and was a contributor to the story. (Use Google translator to read).
May 7, 2022 article on Clear Health Costs by Mary Steffenhagen. Many Americans use online review sites to find healthcare providers, but there's a huge problem with that: An untold number of online reviews on these sites are fraudulent. Fake Review Watch research contributed to this story.
April 26, 2022 article on Vice News' Motherboard by Joseph Cox. Yelp “Elite” reviewers are verified members of the site who are supposed to be more trustworthy than ordinary users. Some of them are selling their reviews to businesses around the country. Article based on Fake Review Watch research and sources.
March 1, 2022 article on trustsignals.com by Scott Baradell. Given the importance of online reviews to consumers today, the prevalence of fake reviews is a serious problem. Interview with Kay Dean of Fake Review Watch.
February 18, 2022 article on NBC Bay Area by Chris Chmura, Alyssa Goard, Mark Villarreal, and Jeremy Carroll. NBC Bay Area reports on the problem of fake Yelp Elite reviews using Fake Review Watch investigation and sources.
February 14, 2022 WTHR Indianapolis news article by Bob Segall. Fake Review Watch investigation forms the basis of this in-depth piece highlighting the fake Facebook and Google reviews for Indiana pediatric dental practice Smiling Kids.
December 5, 2021 article on Mashable by Natasha Pinon. Fake Review Watch reporting forms the basis for a Mashable report on fake reviews for cosmetic surgeons Simon Ourian of Beverly Hills and Adam Rubinstein of Miami.
October 12, 2021 SRF (Switzerland) news article. Research by SRF Data has shown that falsifications of ratings and reviews on Google Maps are widespread - also in Switzerland. How do you know if it's a trustworthy review? Former American federal detective and fake rating specialist Kay Dean worked with SRF Data to collect useful tips.
August 30, 2021 article on dentaleconomics.com. In his second article about fake online reviews, Dr. Michael Davis talked with Kay Dean of Fake Review Watch about the fake review problem, the role of the tech companies and review sites, and what needs to be done.
July 22, 2021 article by Michael W. Davis, DDS, on dentaleconomics.com. Increasingly, online reviews on dental practice websites and social media have become a vital element in the mix of practice marketing. People often access these consumer reviews when they’re trying to find a dental provider. The question becomes, can these reviews be trusted? The answer too frequently is a resounding "No!" according to Kay Dean of Fake Review Watch.
Op-Ed by Kathryn Dean published 06/07/21 in the Toronto Star. Google and other tech companies are not serious about cleaning up fake review fraud. It's time for action to rein in Big Tech.
Fake Review Watch research formed the basis of a 06/04/21 Washington Post article on fake medical reviews. The story highlights fake Google and Trustpilot reviews for The Center, A Place of Hope, a mental illness and addiction treatment facility in Edmonds, Washington. The research is contained in the FRW video, Bangladeshi Facebook Group Fakes Google and Trustpilot Reviews for US Businesses.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation conducted an investigation based on Fake Review Watch information contained in the video U.S. and Canadian Fake Google Review Network. The network contains over 1200 businesses throughout North America that are obtaining fake Google reviews.
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.."
Probably no other form of online fraud affects more people than fake online reviews. Twenty-first century consumers rely heavily on online reviews in making purchasing decisions. Surveys such as a 2018 Pew study found that 93 percent of U.S. adults use online reviews and ratings when buying something for the first time, and 88 percent say online reviews and ratings make them feel confident about their purchasing decisions.
Fraudulent reviews are more deceptive and harmful than other forms of false advertising because consumers believe they are written by legitimate, unbiased customers. Businesses across all professions—including doctors, dentists, and lawyers—are actively deceiving their very clients through fake online reviews. The ramifications of fake reviews can be severe.
Fraudulent reviews constitute unfair or deceptive acts or practices that impact commerce in violation of Section 5(a) of the Federal Trade Commission Act. Soliciting for, selling, or writing fake reviews also violates the community standards of many review platforms, including Facebook, Google and Amazon.
According to FTC Commissioners Rohit Chopra and Rebecca Kelly Slaughter, “ Fake reviews distort our markets by rewarding bad actors and harming honest companies. The problem is growing, and the Federal Trade Commission should attack it.”
Op-Ed on Medium by Kathryn Dean. The massive problem of fake online reviews and what needs to be done about it.
Op-ed in CalMatters by Kathryn Dean. A psychiatric practice fakes reviews, fakes awards, fakes being a lawyer, and defrauds people. What do the Santa Clara County DA, the California Medical Board, and the State Bar do about it? NOTHING.
Some unethical doctors use online marketers to obtain fake consumer reviews. In one case, a Bangladeshi fake review broker arranges fake Google and Trustpilot reviews for US medical practices. Other doctors trade for fake reviews in Facebook review exchange groups. Blog post by Kathryn Dean.