Can you spot a fake online review?

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - We count on online reviews to help us make decisions about the products we buy, the services we agree to, and the restaurants where we eat.  Would it surprise you to know that some of the reviews you count on could actually be fake?

WBTV Cyber Expert, and CEO of Fortalice Solutions Theresa Payton, found a Harvard/Boston University study which indicates as many as a third of the reviews online could be from people paid to give good or bad feedback about a particular company.

Payton says it can be easy to spot the fakes, though, if you know what you're looking for.  Her advice follows:

You can follow a few quick tips for spotting fake reviews

1.  Do the various reviews of a product or place share many of the same phrases, ratings, similar grammatical mistakes or typos?

2.  Does the same writer review multiple products for the same company?

3.  Do some of the reviews seem to be posted around the same time?

It is important to trust but verify.  Check with the Better Business Bureau and ask your close family and friends for reviews as well.

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