Fake Google Reviews And Listings – Be Wary

November 25, 2021

Fake Google Reviews And Listings - Be Wary

Good customer reviews are one of the most important lead acquisition tools used by companies to attract customers. However, as much as it benefits the companies, it has become an epidemic for Google.

There is a web of paid reviewers providing fake reviews to companies and firms ranging from home improvement companies to stockbrokers. Many groups are found to be setting up fake companies and buying bogus reviews.

Although Google is working on fixing its anti-spam algorithm, online studies suggest that a good chunk of Google reviews are either bogus or not written by genuine customers. Since these reviews are considered helpful for the massive consumer base that uses Google to skim businesses, these fake reviews are creating a major problem for legit companies whose reputation is often first based on what potential customers read online.

In addition, rivals and former employees have been known to buy Google reviews and post negative or fake reviews for certain businesses. The situation is even worse for companies that don’t have many reviews to start with. It is not easy for prospective customers to recognize which feedback is fraudulent and which is real.

In this blog, we are going to talk about how CBC Marketplace was able to uncover almost 80 fake reviews and listings on Google and what to look out for to spot fake reviews.

The CBC Marketplace Investigation

Last year, CBC’s Marketplace received a complaint from a middle-aged man regarding receiving a very high bill for a mere lock replacement. Moreover, the locksmith was not even from the company the man contacted via Google.

This raised suspicion and Marketplace decided to head to the physical location the locksmith had listed on Google. Turns out, the address listed on Google Maps was home to just an empty lot.

This led to the discovery of Locksmith Experts Corp. that was responding to all the service calls being made to several locksmith companies including Birchmount Locksmith, Brampton Locksmith, Rouge Locksmith, and Port Credit Locksmith.

Upon further investigation, they found that on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) the Locksmith Experts Corp. was listed as having an F rating and 11 complaints. This hinted at a pattern of unresolved complaints against the company. Similarly, on Yelp, it had nine negative reviews.

All their previous dissatisfied customers complained of unexpectedly high bills and, at times, shoddy workmanship. Surprisingly, after the Locksmith Experts’ Gabriel Gur was confronted, he accepted that they had unhappy customers but he clearly said that he did not create those fake listings.

CBC Marketplace found that in the Greater Toronto Area, fake locksmith locations are flooding the market on Google Maps. More than 80 locksmith locations in the Greater Toronto area were uncovered as fake.

As far as the reviews are concerned, many of the five-star reviews were to be found fake. The stolen images used on profiles of the fake reviewers belonged to real-life professors, doctors, and real estate agents with public profiles on other pages.

Similarly, recently, a consumer group in the UK exposed a web of paid-for reviewers providing fake reviews to dozens of UK businesses listings on Google. The group unveiled nearly 50 companies that were buying 5-star reviews.

Spotting A Fake Review

Falling prey to fake reviews is not uncommon. Many people have been ensnared by companies who are conveniently buying fake reviews instead of providing good services. They not only charge you more than the required amount but also provide sub-par services that cause inconvenience.

Although there is no tried and tested way of spotting fake reviews, there are a few telltales that might help you in developing a better eye for fake reviews. These are:

  • Notice the name and the image on the profile of the reviewer. If the profile image is missing or is of a picture taken from the internet, the account could be fake.
  • Check for other reviews, if they have only posted one review or if all the other reviews are 5-star or 1-star, the account could be fake.
  • If the reviews are orphan, that is, there is no text in the reviews and the person has only given stars with no reasons attached, it is likely fake.

About AKRoN Roofing

At AKRoN Roofing, we appreciate all of our customers and are very grateful to those who take time to provide their feedback online. Our integrity and honesty is of utmost importance and we respond to our customer’s reviews. We also pursue removal of any reviews from profiles we do not recognize.

Akron Roofing is a GAF certified roofing contractor. In addition, we are proud to announce that we are the first roofing company in Canada to install the F-Wave REVIA premium synthetic residential shingles.

AKRoN Roofing offers transferable, ten year workmanship warranties on all sloped roof installations and can offer up to a 25 year workmanship warranty with a GAF or CertainTeed roof. We hold the highest installation standards on all our roofs and we educate homeowners about products, installation and warranties. AKRoN Roofing is a proud member of the Alberta Allied Roofing Association.

We offer various products for sloped roof replacements with a Class 4 rating from UL, including SBS modified architectural shingles, Euroshield recycled rubber shingles and F-wave Synthetic shingles. Our other services include, but are not limited to, residential re-roofing with asphalt shingles, TPO, and 2-ply membranes for flat roofing, roof repairs, and inspections of all types of roofing material by our qualified team.

AKRoN Roofing is proud of its A+ rating with BBB plus other certifications and accreditations. You can check out our accreditations and certifications here, or contact us here for more information.

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