Leery of Online Reviews? I'm Guessing You Should Be...

Online Reviews can be Sneaky!

I came across a fascinating tidbit that sort of justifies my paranoia about online reviews:  Recently the NY AG went after a bunch of companies paying for fake reviews of their companies or clients.

A few of hose companies that found themselves busted by the New York Attorney General's office were:

    A.H. Dental P.C. d/b/a Platinum Dental
    Body Laser Spa Inc.
    Bread and Butter NY, LLC d/b/a La Pomme Nightclub and Events Space
    Envision MT Corp.
    Medical Message Clinic and HerballYours.com
    Stillwater Media Group
    Swan Media Group, Inc. and Scores Media Group, LLC
    US Coachways Limousine, Inc. and US Coachways, Inc.
    Utilities International, Inc. d/b/a Main Street Host
    Webtools, LLC and Webtools Internet Solutions Ltd.
    West Village Teeth Whitening Service, LLC; Magic Smile, Inc., aka Magic Smile


There even seemed to be a few SEO companies in the mix.  As if we don't have enough problems with Google favoring big name companies with the advertising bucks, now we find or at least have validated what many suspect...

To me, this like vermin like cockroaches or spiders.  If you see a few, there's dozens not in sight.  I'm guessing this situation is the same all over.


What the AG noticed were actual ads that companies put out, looking for Yelp users with a certain number of friends with accounts older than three months.

I mean seriously?  Have you ever seen a bank robber use Craig's List to find a wheel man or accomplice? SMH!

The one thing I've seen online is that when I look up reviews, I tend to balance out the number of reviews a service has versus the language or recanting of the reviewers experience.  For example, if I see a company or product with only a few favorable reviews, I tend to not trust them. But only because with so few reviews, they could very well by shills hired to speak well of the company or product.

Between word-of-mouth and a smart approach to reading review sites and your own research, you should be OK.

{If you want to read the announcement: ag.ny.gov}
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