Fake Review Sites – Don’t get burned or scammed!
Fake review sites hurt a lot of people. If the above headline got your attention, maybe you’ve already had an unfortunate experience with one of these sites!
The problem with fake review sites is twofold.
First, they directly harm legitimate businesses.
Secondly, they leave people wondering who they can trust.
Let’s take a look at how fake review sites work, as opposed to sites that legitimately rate and rank the trustworthiness of online businesses.
What I refer to as “fake review sites” are sites that let anyone to offer a review without any checks and balances. They may have been created with a desire to help consumers and legitimate businesses at their inception, but without checks and balances in place, including monitoring and a dedicated support system, they can and do rapidly descend to the level of a place where people with an ax to grind come bent on destroying good people and businesses.
Without naming names, which in itself is a great way to open yourself up to flame attacks not worth the trouble and intellectual exercise to deal with, there are a number of so-called review sites online. Some are very popular and some people put a lot of merit on their ratings.
Beware! Before accepting what a “review” site says about another site or company, good or bad, check the review site, itself. How to they rate?
Do your research
Do a little research and find out what people are saying about them. A sprinkling of unhappy reports are not unusual, as there are far too many scammers online who deserve to get exposed.
However, if there is a litany of complaints from many sources, look again.
How easy is it to contact the people behind the site?
How open are they to checking the legitimacy of your concerns?
Do they allow absolutely anybody to post without any checks? This last one is of key concern. It is the opinion of this blogger that any site that blindly allows users to rate websites is a fake review site. Even if major web browsers include them in their store and allow them to be attached to their browser as an ‘add-on,’ supposedly for safety, they are a fake review site.
I say this boldly, because no matter how altruistic the motive of the review site owners may be, allowing users to post anything they want about a site with nothing to verify what they are saying opens up very ethical and honest businesses to being maligned, while making it possible for the very worst of businesses to force the ratings in their favor, simply by paying enough people to give them a good review.
As always, buyer beware. Do your due diligence, but don’t simply trust the opinion of a site because it calls itself a reputable review site. Check around and make sure you know the truth.