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Tech & Science How to detect fake reviews while shopping online

06:05  30 november  2019
06:05  30 november  2019 Source:   qz.com

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More and more companies are using fake reviews to get your business, but you can outsmart them with the website FakeSpot.com. Consumer Reports show the number of online shoppers is at 1.92 billion so far this year. Most of these customers are turning to online product reviews to make a final

More and more companies are using fake reviews to get your business, but you can outsmart them with the website FakeSpot.com. Consumer Reports show the number of online shoppers is at 1.92 billion so far this year. Most of these customers are turning to online product reviews to make a final

a room with many items on display © Provided by Quartz

If those $10 dollar wireless earbuds with 12,000 five-star reviews seem too good to be true, they probably are. One of the many risks of shopping online in 2019 is getting duped by deceptive or false reviews into buying an inferior product. Fake reviews have proliferated in every area of e-commerce, from electronics to clothes to books to children’s toys.

Review tracking website Fakespot, which analyzes reviews from popular e-commerce sites, estimates that a third of online reviews on sites like Walmart.com, Amazon.com, and Sephora.com are fake. WSJ reported that the three retailers have disputed Fakespot’s findings, but have also taken steps to improve the reliability of reviews on their platforms. The US Federal Trade Commission recently revealed that beauty brand Sunday Riley faked reviews of its own products on Sephora’s website for more than two years. Just this week, online gaming service Steam deleted nearly 3,000 glitchy, low-quality games from its storefront, many of which lured buyers with fake reviews.

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For all its convenience, online shopping ’s biggest shortcoming is still the inability to see or test products first-hand before buying. Actually read the reviews : It’s often easy to spot a fake review based on how it reads. If a reviewer seems to have a wildly different experience than those reflected

CNET professional reviewer Dong Ngo discusses how to spot fake user reviews online . It's Cyber Monday, and while you're busy shopping online , chances are you'll see lots of user reviews on various products. While the majority of those reviews do come from real users like yourself, who are

To make things trickier for prospective buyers, many of these fake reviews are written not by bots, but actual humans. Earlier this month, Buzzfeed profiled a woman who spent over $15,000 on products on Amazon throughout 2019, much of which was in exchange for writing five-star reviews.

Tommy Noonan, the creator of ReviewMeta, a site that analyzes fake reviews on Amazon, noticed a spike in fake reviews on the e-commerce giant in the early months of 2019. Of the 1.9 million unverified reviews written in March 2019, nearly 99.6% were five-star reviews. Compared to 2017 and 2018, that showed a marked spike in both the overall number of unverified reviews, as well as the number of five-star reviews. In a blog post, Noonan noted that the items in question seemed to be cheap, off-brand electronics like headphones and chargers. Reviews were also created in the span of a few days. Amazon has since removed most of the fake reviews identified by Noonan.

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More and more companies are using fake reviews to get your business, but you can outsmart them with the website FakeSpot.com. Consumer Reports show the number of online shoppers is at 1.92 billion so far this year. Most of these customers are turning to online product reviews to make a final

Fake Online Reviews Are a Big Business. What our peers think about products has an immense impact on whether or not we choose to buy them. And while some companies have realized this faster than others, as consumer review websites such as Amazon and Yelp have grown in popularity

Such ersatz reviews, also known as “deceptive opinion spam,” can ruin an online shopping experience. But how does one tell a fake review from a real one? A litany of five-star reviews, many from unverified buyers, should be the first warning sign that something is off.

“I always recommend that customers read the actual reviews, rather than just looking at the average star rating, to get a better sense of what’s going on. Furthermore, I always recommend that customers return items when they feel they have been swindled, this sends a financial message to Amazon and the seller that you won’t put up with low-quality products,” Noonan said in an email to Quartz.

Other experts advise being on the lookout for products that seem to have attracted a surge of positive reviews over a very short period of time. Bad grammar or spelling is another warning sign, so are phrases that are repeated by multiple reviewers. Try picking a few reviewers at random and reading other reviews they’ve written. Is their review history filled with similar five-star critiques, singing the praises of random products such as laptop stands and off-label iPhone chargers? Chances are you’ve caught a professional fake reviewer. Also suspicious are accounts that have only ever reviewed a single product.

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Fake reviews are increasingly prevalent across many top retailer websites, according to a study from Fakespot, which analyzes online customer reviews for fake or unreliable Sephora and Steam's parent company, Valve, didn't immediately return requests for comment. How to detect fake reviews .

More and more companies are using fake reviews to get your business, but you can outsmart them with the website FakeSpot.com. Consumer Reports show the number of online shoppers is at 1.92 billion so far this year. Most of these customers are turning to online product reviews to make a final

Low-cost electronics are particularly rife for fraud. “Typically, we see cheap, generic electronic gizmos as having the most unnatural reviews,” wrote Noonan in an email.

Back in April, an investigation by British watchdog Which? discovered thousands of fake reviews of tech products on Amazon. The products included wearables, smartwatches, and cameras. Headphones were a particularly hot-button item for fraud. Investigators gathered nearly 10,000 unverified reviews from 24 brands of headphones. Almost all the products were “unknown” brands.

Counterfeit beauty products are another potentially dangerous area for fraud. Fakespot advises finding out whether the online merchant is an authorized reseller of your favorite beauty brand before making a purchase. “Online retailers such as Amazon and Walmart are often thought to carry large brands such as Anastasia Beverly Hills, Kylie Cosmetics, MAC, and Urban Decay, but are not authorized resellers. Your best shot at purchasing the cosmetic brands you know and love are at authorized retailers,” Fakespot advised.

While the fight against fake reviews may seem unending, the tactics of those who author them have mostly stayed the same. Noonan told Quartz that fake reviews don’t seem to be any harder to detect in 2019 than in any other year. He also said data from ReviewMeta doesn’t reliably show that fake reviews spike around the holidays. So if you’re one of the shoppers who will contribute to the $7.4 billion of online spending on Black Friday this year, just remember to continue to be wary of fake reviews.

Snap reportedly acquires a deepfake startup .
The company's tech is used in Snapchat's new Cameos feature, which lets you insert selfies into a scene to send as a looping video, Variety reports.Deepfakes, video forgeries that make people appear to be doing or saying things they didn't, are the moving-picture equivalent of bogus images created with programs like Photoshop. Deepfake software has made manipulated videos accessible and increasingly harder to detect as fake.

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