19 Companies Indicted in Online Reviews Fraud in New York City
We all suspect that a lot of the online reviews are fake, and larger platforms like Yelp have been aggressive in rooting them out. But with travel brands themselves pushing for reviews on their sites, what future temptations and scandals await?
Excerpt from New York Times
New York regulators will announce on Monday the most comprehensive crackdown to date on deceptive reviews on the Internet. Agreements have been reached with 19 companies to cease their misleading practices and pay a total of $350,000 in penalties.
The yearlong investigation encompassed companies that create fake reviews as well as the clients that buy them…Also signing are several reputation-enhancement firms that place fraudulent reviews on sites like Google, Yelp, Citysearch and Yahoo…The investigation revealed a web of deceit in which reviewers in Bangladesh, the Philippines and Eastern Europe produced, for as little as a dollar a rave, buckets of praise for places they had never seen in countries where they had never been.