Have you ever bought a product online because of great reviews and customer ratings but ended up disappointed with it? You're not alone: the problem is common enough to warrant news coverage. Many of the rave reviews on retail websites are fakes: written by paid reviewers who've never used the product or service in question. In some cases the reviews aren't even written by actual people.
Fakespot.com can help you identify dishonest reveiws: simply paste the url of a product (for example, a gadget for sale on Amazon, a restaurant reviewed on Yelp!, a hotel with a listing on TripAdvisor), into Fakespot and its algorithms will tell you how likely it is the reviews are genuine. Using Fakespot.com doesn't cost anything and Fakespot is even more convenient if you download its free browser extensions (for Safari, Firefox, and Chrome) or its smartphone/tablet app (versions for both Android and iOS).
In case you're wondering how Fakespot can ID fake reviews, it employs a technique called pattern recognition. Fake reviews tend to have common characteristics. First, the language tends to be overly enthusiastic: beware of any reviews that declare a product "the best ever" or have exclamation points. The dates and times of the reviews are also telling: if a lot of positive reviews are published on the same day, that's suspicious. Furthermore, fake reviews tend to be lacking in specifics: few or no details about using the product.