Eastern contractors paid to promote false reviews
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/29/2013 -- Just how much one can trust a review on a website can often be a bit misleading and worrisome for those trying to find out the truth about a product or service.
Websites like Trustpilot claim to produce millions of “authentic reviews from actual customers” in order to assist shoppers in buying their online goods. However, the Guardian Money investigation found that fake reviewing was prevalent on an industrial scale. There were found companies that paid offshore contractors to post a multitude of glowing reviews and accounts, while maintaining the facade of an unbiased consumer.
A large number of the supposed authentic reviews that were found by Money were written by an individual in Bangladesh, India, and Indonesia, who produce their work for a relatively low fee to the paying company. They write false reviews using many aliases and fake email addresses. A large number of such services can be found on sites like Freelancer.com or oDesk.com, which promote themselves as quality outsourcing websites. The companies will post their requirement and wait for contractors to bid.
Guardian Money tracked down many reviews to WAE+, which was the most complained about company last year.
Zahed Kamal was found to the be the genesis of the WEA+, and described himself as a 25-year-old who studied computer science and engineering at the University in Chittagong, Bangladesh. When interviewed he stated that he is contracted by western companies within England and the United States to post hundreds of reviews on independent consumer review websites, including Trustpilot and Review Center. He noted that he currently had 11 jobs for such posting work, that were gaining him around $1,400.
Kamal's story is not uncommon, as sites like Freelancer.com are not able to continually check for scams and new ways for individuals to post fraudulent reviews if they so choose to. The faked reviews are for anything from hotel reviews to restaurant sites, and even security services.
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