Tips for spotting fake reviews when shopping online


Black Friday, the biggest sale of the year, is tomorrow. This means that stores around the world will hold sales with massive discounts. From Jumia to Xiaomi to Samsung, there are some sales that will meet your needs. However, with online shopping, certain precautions must be taken such as buying from reputable sites. But on these sites, you will always find these one or two fake sellers.

Online reviews shape our decision making before buying a product. But what happens when reviews are fabricated? Spotting fake reviews isn’t always easy. To help you spot genuine reviews from potential fakes, here are some tips for spotting a fake review.

How to spot fake reviews

  • Look for generic reviewer profiles. If a reviewer has a very common or generic name like John Smith or Jane Doe (apologies to those with those real names), you’ve spotted a potential fake. Fake reviewers usually post under fake names, sometimes with a bunch of random letters and numbers and rarely have a profile picture or use a stock image.
  • Pay attention to very positive and negative ratings. Real reviews tend to balance the pros and cons a bit more and include specific details about the actual product. For example, they might say “the plastic of the phone case is slightly scratched but the grip is great”.
  • Extremely personal stories and details. Reviews containing generic criticism such as “This product has changed my life!” are mostly fake. Most people don’t have such a strong opinion of random products online. Others go to extremes saying things like “I felt depressed when my pet died and then I found this product and I can’t believe how amazing it is!” These personal stories are meant to touch your heart to inspire you to purchase the product. However, good reviews don’t focus on the reviewer, the main focus is the product.
  • Notice spam in a short time. Fake reviews tend to be published in droves over a short period of time. Sometimes in 24 hours. Usually several 5-star reviews that simply say “works great!” should be considered suspicious.
  • Check spelling and grammar. Sometimes sellers outsource their fake reviews to content farms where people who are not native English speakers write reviews. The result is fake reviews with spelling mistakes and bad grammar. If you read a review and it doesn’t sound natural, it could be a fake.

Are online reviews reliable?

While reviews can let you see what real people think of a product, not all of them are trustworthy. Keep the above tips in mind before making a purchase.


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