Fake online reviews - sneaky & creepy

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Judge Roy Bean
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Fake online reviews - sneaky & creepy

#1

Post by Judge Roy Bean »

Luring people facing serious issues with phony rehab clinic reviews is lower than low.

Scary article from a trustworthy expert:

A Sobering Look at Fake Online Reviews

https://krebsonsecurity.com/2018/04/a-s ... e-reviews/
Sometime in March 2018, ads began appearing on Craigslist promoting part-time “social media assistant” jobs, in which interested applicants are directed to sign up for positions at seorehabs[dot]com. This site promotes itself as “leaders in addiction recovery consulting,” explaining that assistants can earn a minimum of $25 just for creating individual Google for Business listings tied to a few dozen generic-sounding addiction recovery center names, such as “Integra Addiction Center,” and “First Exit Recovery.”
A reviewer using the name “Tedi Spicer” also promoted at least seven separate rehab centers across the United States in the past month. Getting treated at so many far-flung facilities in just the few months that the domains for these supposed rehab centers have been online would be an impressive feat:
:madguy:
“Where all think alike, no one thinks very much.”
Walter Lippmann

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Chilidog
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Re: Fake online reviews - sneaky & creepy

#2

Post by Chilidog »

I noticed something the other day.

I need a new pop-up sun shelter (like an easy-up)

I went on line to see it I could find any reviews of the latest products.


I found a couple of sites, but what I found interesting was that every product reviews on the sites had a link to buy it on Amazon.

I thought about it and decided that the review sites were just fake shills for Amazon.

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Kendra
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Re: Fake online reviews - sneaky & creepy

#3

Post by Kendra »

Chilidog wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 5:04 pm
I noticed something the other day.

I need a new pop-up sun shelter (like an easy-up)

I went on line to see it I could find any reviews of the latest products.


I found a couple of sites, but what I found interesting was that every product reviews on the sites had a link to buy it on Amazon.

I thought about it and decided that the review sites were just fake shills for Amazon.
There's been a lot of monkey business with Amazon sellers wanting glowing reviews for their products and tricking the verified purchase badge with a coupon = free product. Lots of folks have had reviewing privileges removed (sometimes in error, caught up in a crackdown). Amazon just rolled out some new purchase rules for reviewers to try and combat the coupon stuff. More later when I get home, assuming anyone is interested.

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RTH10260
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Re: Fake online reviews - sneaky & creepy

#4

Post by RTH10260 »

Chilidog wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 5:04 pm
I noticed something the other day.

I need a new pop-up sun shelter (like an easy-up)

I went on line to see it I could find any reviews of the latest products.


I found a couple of sites, but what I found interesting was that every product reviews on the sites had a link to buy it on Amazon.

I thought about it and decided that the review sites were just fake shills for Amazon.
The Amazon business model offers web shops for anyone, small businesses who don't want to open their own shop under their own domain name (which comes with extra investments into security and possibly no access to a merchant account for credit cards. Amazon takes a share for business owners using their shop format and payment services, possibly including mailing. Then come the wholesale dealers that offer their stuff to anyone who wishes to resell under their own name. People can run a virtual business from their computer. When someone buys in their online shop they buy from the wholesaler and hand the product on. So a plethora of virtual shops offer all the same product with little investment. And with little oversight. Better Business offices will know a lot about the negative reviews.

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Kendra
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Re: Fake online reviews - sneaky & creepy

#5

Post by Kendra »

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business ... f93fd748e0
SAN FRANCISCO — On Amazon, customer comments can help a product surge in popularity. The online retail giant says that more than 99 percent of its reviews are legitimate because they are written by real shoppers who aren’t paid for them.

But a Washington Post examination found that for some popular product categories, such as Bluetooth headphones and speakers, the vast majority of reviews appear to violate Amazon’s prohibition on paid reviews. Such reviews have certain characteristics, such as repetitive wording that people probably cut and paste in.

Many of these fraudulent reviews originate on Facebook, where sellers seek shoppers on dozens of networks, including Amazon Review Club and Amazon Reviewers Group, to give glowing feedback in exchange for money or other compensation. The practice artificially inflates the ranking of thousands of products, experts say, misleading consumers.

Amazon.com banned paying for reviews a year and a half ago because of research it conducted showing that consumers distrust paid reviews. Every once in a while, including this month, Amazon purges shoppers from its site whom it accuses of breaking its policies.
Edit, forgot the quote thingy.

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Sterngard Friegen
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Re: Fake online reviews - sneaky & creepy

#6

Post by Sterngard Friegen »

When talking fake online reviews, the Orly Taitz of the genre was the late Harriet Klausner. She wrote dozens of fake book reviews a week, giving most 5 stars, a few 4 stars and out of 30,000+ reviews maybe half a dozen 3 stars.

She never bought a book. They were sent to her.

I was one of a growing chorus of people who complained to Amazon about her. And I eventually stalked her reviews on Amazon and exploded every one in the comments.

For my service to humanity, Amazon banned me from writing reviews and comments, a ban which lasts to this day.

Harriet never read a book she was reviewing, although her reviews purported to the contrary. She often read the jacket blurbs or the Kirkus (or whatever) reviews and plagiarized them. Occasionally she would flip to a page in a book, glean something and misinterpret it in the review. Many times she accidentally gave away spoilers (the stopped clock syndrome), which really pissed off readers and authors.

In one science fiction book (she loved to fake-review scifi) the author had named a character Sgt. Harriet Klausner. The real Harriet Klausner, fake book reviewer, completely missed the character in her review, even though the character played an important role in the story and was NAMED AFTER HER!

I don't believe most on line reviews as a result of Harriet Klausner.

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Kendra
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Re: Fake online reviews - sneaky & creepy

#7

Post by Kendra »

Sterngard Friegen wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:55 pm
When talking fake online reviews, the Orly Taitz of the genre was the late Harriet Klausner. She wrote dozens of fake book reviews a week, giving most 5 stars, a few 4 stars and out of 30,000+ reviews maybe half a dozen 3 stars.

She never bought a book. They were sent to her.

I was one of a growing chorus of people who complained to Amazon about her. And I eventually stalked her reviews on Amazon and exploded every one in the comments.

For my service to humanity, Amazon banned me from writing reviews and comments, a ban which lasts to this day.

Harriet never read a book she was reviewing, although her reviews purported to the contrary. She often read the jacket blurbs or the Kirkus (or whatever) reviews and plagiarized them. Occasionally she would flip to a page in a book, glean something and misinterpret it in the review. Many times she accidentally gave away spoilers (the stopped clock syndrome), which really pissed off readers and authors.

In one science fiction book (she loved to fake-review scifi) the author had named a character Sgt. Harriet Klausner. The real Harriet Klausner, fake book reviewer, completely missed the character in her review, even though the character played an important role in the story and was NAMED AFTER HER!

I don't believe most on line reviews as a result of Harriet Klausner.
Oh that Harriet, now dearly departed. I loved it when the jacket blurbs got the book wrong and she copied them. Or when the author provided a cast of characters at the start of the book and she still blew it. I think it came out finally that she was a reviewer for Midwest Book reviews, and she posted them to Amazon as well as her multiple blogs. Most unhelpful book reviewer ever.

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vic
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Re: Fake online reviews - sneaky & creepy

#8

Post by vic »

RTH10260 wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 6:03 pm
Chilidog wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 5:04 pm
I noticed something the other day.

I need a new pop-up sun shelter (like an easy-up)

I went on line to see it I could find any reviews of the latest products.


I found a couple of sites, but what I found interesting was that every product reviews on the sites had a link to buy it on Amazon.

I thought about it and decided that the review sites were just fake shills for Amazon.
The Amazon business model offers web shops for anyone, small businesses who don't want to open their own shop under their own domain name (which comes with extra investments into security and possibly no access to a merchant account for credit cards. Amazon takes a share for business owners using their shop format and payment services, possibly including mailing. Then come the wholesale dealers that offer their stuff to anyone who wishes to resell under their own name. People can run a virtual business from their computer. When someone buys in their online shop they buy from the wholesaler and hand the product on. So a plethora of virtual shops offer all the same product with little investment. And with little oversight. Better Business offices will know a lot about the negative reviews.
I think that what Chilidog was describing was something different - Amazon Affiliates. This is a method by which web sites which mention products which are available on Amazon can get an "advertising fee", up to 10% of the purchase price, when someone purchases the product from Amazon via the link. They aren't selling a product through Amazon (they don't supply inventory, and they are paid only a small fraction of the purchase amount).

The program lets websites get a small revenue stream. I've seen it used a lot of recipe-related sites, such as some sites which have Instant Pot recipes. They might include affiliate links in their list of ingredients, in particular for ingredients which aren't generally available in the supermarket. And for the Instant Pot in particular, the recipes often call for something special, such as a small stainless steel bowl which will fit inside the pot for "pot in pot" cooking.

Here's an extreme example, This Old Gal's recipe for southern style cheesy grits. She has affiliate links for at least a dozen items, ranging from the stoneground corn grits, to the Instant Pot itself.

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maydijo
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Re: Fake online reviews - sneaky & creepy

#9

Post by maydijo »

A lot of blogs do the affiliates program - in fact for many of them it's their primary source of income. Blogs also do a lot off reviews for items sent to them for free. There are various companies that coordinate these reviews, and although all the bloggers say the opinions are their own, there's pressure to give positive reviews on order to continue to receive freebies - the general consensus is that, if you give too many negative reviews, companies won't want want to work with you.

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Suranis
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Re: Fake online reviews - sneaky & creepy

#10

Post by Suranis »

This is from a couple of years back so may be out of date in some aspects, but its still interesting.

http://www.cracked.com/personal-experie ... mazon.html
I Get Paid To Write Fake Reviews For Amazon

Whether you need to find a motel in Winnipeg that doesn't reek of despair (good luck!) or track down the cheapest possible Chinese food in El Paso, internet reviewers have got your back. But some businesses have become so desperate for that elusive fifth star that they're paying for positive reviews online, a crime filthier than the rats running around that El Paso Chinese place. We spoke with Jessica Carson, a paid online reviewer, and she told us ...

5 You Can't Just Jump In And Start Leaving Fake Reviews

So you want to start a career by ruining the internet for everybody else. That's fine. But how do you get into paid reviewing? The same way you get into crack orgies and the trunk of somebody's car: Craigslist. Businesses will often post review gigs there, or if you're feeling more proactive you can advertise your own services on places like Fiverr.

Fiverr

It's like exposure, only even more insulting.

But first you're going to need a solid track record of legitimate-looking reviews (usually upwards of 50) attached to whatever social media account you're using, which must also carry a good number of followers. The reviews can't just all be five stars, or else Yelp or Google can tell you're a shill. In short, you need to build up some trust before you betray it for cash. On my two Yelp accounts and my Google account, I'd make sure there were a few hundred varied reviews visible on my profile at any given moment.

But you have to be careful: Yelp protects the identities of its reviewers to the steps of the state Supreme Court if need be, but Amazon will sue the pants off of users posting fake reviews. You basically have to do a few months' worth of unpaid work before you can even start looking for work, which is pretty much the case for all college graduates nowadays.
The difference between the Middle Ages, and the Age of the Internet, is that in the Middle Ages no-one thought the Earth was flat.

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Kendra
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Re: Fake online reviews - sneaky & creepy

#11

Post by Kendra »

I haven't followed the Fiverr bits lately, but a few years ago some were very blatant about it and promising glowing book reviews - oh and for an extra 'gig' (another five bucks) they could buy the ebook and thus have the AVP badge. Right there on their Fiverr page. One bold person actually put her Fiverr info on her Amazon profile page. Back then Amazon made it easy to go from a profile page to looking at individual reviews and LOL at the products she was reviewing went from a book about life in a frat house, to financial planning for senior citizens to products for young females and more. Amazon didn't seem to get the obvious and I think she's still around, but she and one other Fiverr seller also cross posted at Goodreads. Those paid reviews were reported to staff there and were removed. Then this person went to the Fiverr forums and whined at mean Goodreads and how they'd removed her stuff she'd worked so hard on to write.

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Re: Fake online reviews - sneaky & creepy

#12

Post by Foggy »

Y'all never read the banana slicer reviews?

They're just awesome is all. :blink:
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DryInk
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Re: Fake online reviews - sneaky & creepy

#13

Post by DryInk »

Glassdoor is an online review site for businesses in which current and former employees critique the work environment of a company. Prospective employees will go read a company's reviews to gauge what kind of work environment they might be getting into. If you read through the reviews the fake positive ones become pretty easy to spot, more than likely written by current HR employees to make the company more attractive to recruits.
Let's just assume I said something witty.

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Kendra
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Re: Fake online reviews - sneaky & creepy

#14

Post by Kendra »

Foggy wrote:
Fri Apr 27, 2018 9:49 am
Y'all never read the banana slicer reviews?

They're just awesome is all. :blink:
Or the Tuscan milk. And the threeopn wolf t-shirt.

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