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Tyler Cohen Wood

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Catching The Catfishers: Disarm The Online Pretenders, Predators, and Perpetrators Who Are Out To Ruin Your Life

You shouldn’t trust every review you read.  Companies and services live or die by their reputation in online reviews.  There are unscrupulous reputation cleaners that hire people to write fake reviews.  Companies themselves can also write fake reviews to get your business.  There are ways to determine if the reviews you read are phony.  If a review is too general or non-specific, it might not be genuine.  If a reviewer’s history shows that the reviewer only posts general, positive reviews, it might not be real.  If a company seems to get a lot of reviews in one day, that’s another indicator of falsity.

Review Red Flags:

No specific details.

If a reviewer is not actually located where the service is.  For example, if someone is one day writing about services in New York City, and the next day they’re writing them for San Francisco, be wary.

If the reviewer rates everything with five stars and uses only phrases like “awesome service” to describe their experience with every review, be wary.

If the reviewer has no “avatar” or no links to other social media.

If your business is the victim of a bad review:

A business can use reputation cleaners, which work by trying to put good press ahead of bad press.

Often, if it’s just one or two bad reviews, you can try to write the reviewer to see if you can fix the issue.

If you feel a review is fraudulent, you can write the review site’s abuse section and try to get the review removed.

You may also have the ability to take legal action. If you suspect it is the same reviewer writing repeatedly fraudulent or abusive reviews, you can get a lawyer involved who will write a preservation letter to the review company.  The review company will be able to tell if the reviewer is writing from the same devices and/or IP addresses.