UK businesses caught buying fake Google reviews for a turnaround: Report

UK businesses caught buying fake Google reviews for a turnaround: Report

A consumer group has exposed a web of paid-for reviewers providing fake reviews to dozens of UK businesses listings on Google, ranging from home improvement companies to a stockbroker. The consumer group, Which?, set up a fake company and bought bogus reviews to probe how some businesses are opting for shortcuts to build a good customer rating.

Notably, companies selling Google reviews in bulk were all easily found in the tech giant’s own search results, the report said. Which? created a fake business listing called Five Star Reviews and bought 20 Google reviews for around $150 from a site named Reviewr. The firm providing paid-for reviews claimed to offer “100% permanent reviews” that won’t be deleted and the investigators even got the option to choose a star rating of their liking for each review.

The Google accounts, which were used to plant the fake reviews, had reviewed similar businesses all around the country. Nearly 50 companies, including a stockbroker, a dentist, a London estate agent, and a bakery in Edinburgh, had at least three reviewers in common, suggesting that these businesses paid the same company to post “glowing appraisals”.

News Source: Hindustan Times

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