Fake Online Review Crackdown Leaves 19 Companies Paying $350,000 in Fines
September 24, 2013 7:12 AM
Investigation found foreigners leaving positive reviews for places they had never been
Regulators in New York are expected to announce today one of the most comprehensive crackdowns on fake Internet reviews posted by companies online. The New York Times reports that agreements have been reached between the state of New York and 19 companies that will see them stop any misleading practices and pay a total of $350,000 in penalties.
The NYT reports that the investigation has lasted a year and has included companies that create fake reviews. Among the companies that are signing agreements include a charter bus operator, a teeth whitening service, laser hair removal chain, and an adult entertainment club. None of the companies were specifically named.
All the companies involved have placed fraudulent reviews on websites such as Google, Yahoo, Yahoo, and CitySearch. The investigation allegedly uncovered services posting fake reviews that have good a more significant impact on the life of duped users including fake reviews for dentists, lawyers, and an ultrasound clinic.
“What we’ve found is even worse than old-fashioned false advertising,” said Eric T. Schneiderman, the New York attorney general. “When you look at a billboard, you can tell it’s a paid advertisement — but on Yelp or Citysearch, you assume you’re reading authentic consumer opinions, making this practice even more deceiving.”
Investigators posed as the owner of a yogurt shop in Brooklyn who claimed to be the victim of unfair online reviews. A reputation management firm was hired and investigators discovered foreign persons were leaving positive reviews for places they never been in countries that have never traveled to. The investigation found that these favorable reviews could be purchased for as little as one dollar each.
The investigation also found that companies charged with getting good reviews for clients also bribed customers to give good reviews with things such as $50 gift certificates. This investigation was specifically focused on New York, but could have wider implications around the country.
"This shows that fake reviews are a legitimate target of law enforcement,” said Aaron Schur, senior litigation counsel for Yelp.
"Vista runs on Atom ... It's just no one uses it". -- Intel CEO Paul Otellini
Latest By Shane McGlaun
Windows Phone Sales Grow, But Market Share Continues to Lag Behind Competition
May 7, 2014, 9:39 AM
MSI Launches GS60 Ghost Pro 3K, GS70 Stealth Pro Gaming Notebooks
May 6, 2014, 12:00 PM
Apple to Launch Major Upgrade to Help Boost Sales Ahead of iPhone 6 Launch
May 6, 2014, 9:44 AM
Vermont Congressman Wants Federal EV Tax Credit Increased to $10,000
May 5, 2014, 8:37 AM
Eithad Airlines Offers the First Three-Room Suite on a Commercial Airliner
May 5, 2014, 8:13 AM
Report: AT&T Eyeing $40B DirecTV Purchase
May 1, 2014, 8:00 AM
Student Gmail Accounts No Longer Scanned for Targeted Ads
April 30, 2014, 10:31 AM
Samsung Galaxy K zoom Smartphone Gets Official, Offers 10x Optical Zoom
April 30, 2014, 9:53 AM
Google Autonomous Vehicles Are Working On Mastering City Street Driving
April 28, 2014, 10:25 AM
Samsung Reports that a Small Number of Galaxy S5 Smartphones Shipped with Broken Cameras
April 28, 2014, 10:00 AM
Smartphone ‘Orders’ body to treat diabetes
April 29, 2017, 7:06 AM
Science & Environment
February 20, 2017, 6:37 AM
The USA’s newest weather satellite sends first photos.
January 24, 2017, 6:41 AM
Netflix took a decision to invest in original content
January 19, 2017, 7:00 AM
Amazon Airborne Fulfillment Center – Your Merchandise Drop-Shipped from the Clouds
December 29, 2016, 5:00 AM
Amazon is experimenting with a new kind of grocery stores, Amazon Go
December 8, 2016, 5:00 AM
Most Popular Articles
Surface Pro 5 Rumors - New Release Date and Price
April 22, 2017, 6:45 AM
Motorola Moto G5 Pus – Well Worth Considering Over the Others
April 25, 2017, 7:06 AM
HTC’s newest phone – HTC U 11 coming May 16th
April 24, 2017, 7:21 AM
Apple Watch NikeLab Limited Edition unveiled.
April 22, 2017, 6:20 AM
Meet the Smartphone with four cameras - Alcatel Flashphone
April 5, 2017, 11:20 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Galaxy Note 8 – Available Second Half 2017
Apr 28, 2017, 7:30 AM
Google Android App – Huge improvement on Nighttime Photography
Apr 27, 2017, 7:40 AM
Google Co-Founder, Sergey Brin has an Airship
Apr 26, 2017, 6:43 AM
Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus – Lots of Glass that Breaks Easily
Apr 25, 2017, 7:20 AM
Samsung Galaxy S8 – Warning for Pet Owners
Apr 24, 2017, 5:59 AM
Sound Bars and the Costs?
Apr 23, 2017, 6:30 AM
Link your Brain to Your Computer – In Four Years…Maybe
Apr 22, 2017, 7:03 AM
Google Home can now identify users by their voice.
Apr 21, 2017, 7:15 AM
Amazon Lex – Now Available for Developers.
Apr 20, 2017, 6:58 AM
You can now use Instagram offline on your Android Smartphone
Apr 19, 2017, 8:00 AM
Now you can livestream to YouTube from your mobile device.
Apr 18, 2017, 8:05 AM
Google Home – Is It a Spy Device?
Apr 17, 2017, 7:30 AM
Apple added to self –driving test permit list
Apr 15, 2017, 6:21 AM
Project Scorpio – Coming on June 11
Apr 14, 2017, 6:20 AM
Looks Like Samsung Has Been Forgiven.
Apr 13, 2017, 6:50 AM
United Airlines - Blasted on China’s Social Network and the Stock Market
Apr 12, 2017, 6:50 AM
Amazon's Third-Party Sellers Hacked
Apr 11, 2017, 6:25 AM
Microsoft Surface Pro5 Details Revealed
Apr 9, 2017, 6:41 AM
Own An Android Phone? Then you could be hacked over Wi-FI
Apr 7, 2017, 6:47 AM
Apple confirms iOS 10.3 bug and its effect on iCloud Services
Apr 6, 2017, 6:30 AM
Apple Rolls Out New Version of Apple Music
Apr 5, 2017, 10:35 AM
Apple in the News
Apr 4, 2017, 9:03 AM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2017 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information