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Is Your Business the Victim of a FAKE Google Review? ⭐☆☆☆☆
Posted on Oct 13, 2019 by bullseye1

Is your business the victim of a FAKE GOOGLE REVIEW?

It was a typical day with things going well. Then came the email from the Google My Business account. (Cue dramatic music). Someone had posted a review – a bad one-star review. And we don’t know this person!


Unfortunately, fake reviews are common. Recent research reveals 52% of reviews on Walmart are “inauthentic or unreliable” and 30% of Amazon reviews are fake or unreliable. And it’s not a new trend either. Way back in 2013, the New York State Attorney General took action against 19 companies involved with posting fake reviews. And both Amazon and Yelp have taken legal action against fake reviewers. Unfortunately being sued and large fines haven’t stopped fake reviews. But you aren’t helpless against them. There are things you can do to fight back and maintain your good reputation.

How to Spot a Fake Review

Obviously if you received the bad review, you know whether this person is authentic or not. The person who posted the bad review for Target Marketing, Ad Mcdef, was someone we had never heard of and never done business with. Needless to say, it sounds like a fake name. So we searched seven public records sources,,,,,,,,and did NOT find any listing in the United States for Mr. (or Ms.) Ab Mcdef.

There are some consistent signs that a review is fake.

  1. You don’t know the person, or you have no record of doing business with them or their company.
  2. The name sounds fake, and/or you’re not able to find any public record of the person.
  3. A lack of details regarding what this person is upset about.
  4. Use of broad negative terms like ‘never,’ ‘always,’ or ‘they should be taken to court.’
  5. Not having posted many reviews. Some of these fakers open a fake account just to post that bad review. So the email account may have been recently opened.
  6. Lack of other reviews. Many fakers only post that one bad review per fake account.
  7. A number of other bad reviews, and other bad reviews posted at about the same time yours was posted. Ab Mcdef also posted some negative reviews for other businesses at about the same time.
  8. The bad review appeared after you had to fire someone. Sometimes terminated staff take out their anger by trying to hurt their former employer with a bad review.

What Can You Do About a Fake Review?    

  1. Answer the reviewer in a polite and professional way. Make it public that you don’t know this person and have never done business with them. Give them the benefit of the doubt and suggest that they may have confused your business with another one. This gives the reviewer a chance to take it down. Yes, reviews can be deleted by the person that posted them. If this was a mistake, then you’ve given the person a chance to correct it.
  2. If you have other good reviews, make that known in your response. This lets people know that you have satisfied customers who were willing to make their satisfaction of your business public. If there are multitudes of good reviews and one bad one, then it becomes obvious that the review may be fake.
  3. If the bad review was from a terminated employee, then make sure you point that out in your response. Explain that the bad review was an act of retaliation, that you fire someone as a last resort, and that you wish this person well in their future employment.
  4. Flag the review as inappropriate. Log into your Google My Business account and go to the Reviews section. Clicking on the three dots to the upper right of the review allows you to flag it as inappropriate. Google won’t get involved in customer/merchant disputes. And you can’t request content be removed if it’s true but you just don’t like it. But Google will remove content if it violates Google’s Prohibited and Restricted Content policy: “Your content should reflect your genuine experience at the location and should not be posted just to manipulate a place’s ratings. Don’t post fake content, don’t post the same content multiple times, and don’t post content for the same place from multiple accounts.
  5. If Google has not removed the review after 3 days, you can contact Google directly and ask them to delete it. You will be asked to provide your name, website and email addresses, and the content of the fake review.
  6. Ask other customers who are satisfied with your services to post good reviews. It becomes obvious that if a business has tons of good reviews and only one or a few bad ones, then those people are either fake or no one can satisfy them.

So What Happened with that Fake Review?

I posted a response saying we never heard of Ab Mcdef, and perhaps he made a mistake. The review was also flagged as inappropriate. And it was gone in less than 24 hours. Maybe Ab Mcdef realized he made an error. Or maybe he went running for the hills when we responded like Dee Snider of Twisted Sister and said “We’re Not Gonna Take It.” Or perhaps Google removed it. Regardless, it’s history!

Hoping this experience helps your business deal with fake reviews. Feel free to contact us with any questions or help you might need with this issue or others.

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