Fake reviewers taken down in New York
September 24 , 2013
The state of New York has managed to crack down on fake reviews and a long investigation has revealed that settlements with 19 companies have been reached. The companies are expected to stop posting fake reviews and pay fines of $350,000.
These companies fall into two categories: the ones that are trying to give themselves rating on sites such as Yelp, and those that assist these companies and deliver bogus reviews.
The fake reviews would either be achieved with the help of foreigners after paying them $1 a pop or the companies would bribe their customers by offering them gift certificates in exchange for reviews.
The investigations involved New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman pretending to be the owner of a yogurt shop in Brooklyn and looking for some help with the reviews. He was, then led to these 19 companies.
Reports suggest that dentists, ultrasound clinic and lawyers were among the companies faking their reviews.
Schneiderman mentioned that the advertisement on billboards look like they are paid, "but on Yelp or Citysearch, you assume you're reading authentic consumer opinions."