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How to spot fake reviews on Amazon

Online shopping giant Amazon has been flooded with fake five-start reviews according to consumer group Which?

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The consumer group probed popular items such as headphones, smart watches and other technology, noting that the 14 categories that it looked at were dominated largely by unknown brands – defined as non household name brands.

When searching the headphones category, Which? reported of the 12,000 reviews from the first page results, 87% were from unverified purchases. A potential telltale sign of illegitimate reviews.

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In one of the examples for headphones, an unknown brand called Celebrat had 439 reviews, all of which were five-star and posted on the same day.

What is a fake review?

A fake review isn’t an honest and impartial opinion of a product or service.

The person writing the review may have been paid or given the product for free in exchange for a review, which may influence the person’s opinion. Some reviews may be for products that the buyer has purchased for a gift, so may not have experienced the product directly. In that case, is this a genuine review?

How to spot a a fake review

  • Inspect the comments – don’t rely on star ratings alone
  • Watch out for suspicious language – if it looks and sounds like an ad, it probably is
  • Be suspicious of a large number of reviews in quick succession
  • Check the reviewer’s other reviews
  • Pay attention to mid-range reviews for a more balanced view
  • Watch out for admitted bias – bought an item for a gift, but they haven’t used the product themselves
  • Look for verified purchases
  • Check out what else the reviewer has bought

Source: Which?

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