The plague of spammers and fake reviews

We are a small business. Our intention has been to stay small, so we are not looking to double or triple our business and take on more team members and so on. I tell you this because we know our customers very well because this business is small, and more importantly most computer repair businesses are not big volume businesses anyway. So when we get “spammers” and fake reviews we definitely know when its spam or fake.

I should also stress that we are definitely not perfect, far from it. We make mistakes like anyone else and we do get the occasional negative review. It is an extremely rare business that has 100 per cent perfect feedback. I don’t even know if such a business exists!

However, because we have been doing repairs for about 15 years now, we know what we do, and we know it well. So when we see fake reviews, it is frustrating, and most people don’t even realise it’s illegal. Amazon is one of a few companies taking the lead on this by taking people who post fake reviews to court.

 
 

Spotting Spam Reviews

You may wonder how we know its spam or fake. As I said above, we know our customers, and on average we may get a few reviews a month. With a small business like this, customers regardless of how happy they are don’t often take time to write a review. People are quick to write a review when they are angry. I suppose it makes sense! But they still struggle to take the time to write a review even when they are “extremely” happy with your service, so we often get hand written reviews from customers, we have more of those then online reviews.

So on an average month we may get 3 or 4 reviews. We don’t get a review a day, or even a week. The spammer below wrote 3 reviews in one hour! :) Three reviews!!! If you see the email screenshots below, you will see all three reviews came through in roughly an hours time frame.

Spam reviews of local business
 

Check the date and time stamps on the emails below for the above reviews.

Fake review 1
Fake review 2
Fake review 3
 

Here is another example from 2015, someone decided to spam on the same day.

Spam reviews from 2015

So what do we do? We inform Google, and let Google take the appropriate action against them.