Why Brands and Big Tech are Tackling Review Fraud

Review fraud isn't just an annoyance. It also can have a significant impact on brand perception and bottom-line results. Here's how retailers and tech players are tackling it.

Checking out reviews for products and services has become an integral step in many consumers’ shopping journeys — particularly for higher-priced, high-consideration purchases — with some surveys putting their influence on buying decisions at 90% or higher. And despite the fact that allowing reviews opens up the possibility of receiving negative comments, brands and retailers have strong incentives to include them: a 2017 study from the Medill Spiegel Research Center at Northwestern University found that the purchase likelihood for a product with five reviews was 270% greater than for one with no reviews.

Unfortunately, there’s also a major downside to reviews: the prevalence of fakes. Whether these fraudulent reviews are written by actual people or, more worryingly, created with generative AI, they cause real-world monetary and reputational harm to companies while misleading consumers and undermining trust in reviews overall.

This special report will explore:

  • Tools retailers can use to spot and weed out fake reviews, including identifying newly created email addresses (a frequent tool of fraudsters) and invalid addresses;
  • Legal and regulatory remedies being pursued by government agencies and companies, notably Amazon; and
  • Some of the challenges presented by deepfakes and other methods of masking the identities and origins of reviews.

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