New York Attorney General cracks down on fake reviews

9 March, 2016 – New York – London – Melbourne – Copenhagen – Berlin – The Office of the New York Attorney General recently announced it is prosecuting several companies for posting fake online reviews. Settlements with four US companies, including Machinima, Inc., resulted in fines ranging from $20,000 to $50,000. We firmly support these actions and we’re pleased to see fake reviews being taken so seriously.

“Reviews are a key part of many consumers’ purchasing decisions and it’s absolutely crucial that they can be trusted. Trustpilot has advanced manual and automated processes in place to detect fake reviews, and we hope the legal actions taken by the Attorney General will deter other companies from engaging in similar behavior,” says Trustpilot’s Head of Trust and Transparency, Kasper Heine.  

Using fake reviews in this way is known as astroturfing, and it has been on New York’s radar for some time now. In 2013, a year-long investigation by the Attorney General’s Office resulted in 19 businesses being fined for commissioning fake reviews and placing them on sites likes Google, Yahoo, and Yelp.

Continued efforts to crack down on fake reviews stress the importance of an industry-wide approach to tackling the problem. Trustpilot works closely with industry watchdogs such as Trading Standards in the UK and the Danish Consumer Ombudsman, and report instances of misuse on our platform. We also routinely assist Trading Standards and the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in their efforts to investigate and improve the online review industry.

This aligns with our zero-tolerance policy towards fake reviews. We invest significantly in fighting fraud, and our 35 strong Compliance Team works diligently to stay ahead of attempts to game the system. If companies continuously violate our guidelines and attempt to mislead consumers, we post a consumer alert on their profile, informing our community of suspicious behavior.

“Trustpilot’s active community is a fundamental part of our fight against fake reviews. Every month, thousands of reviewers and businesses contact us to let us know they have found something suspicious. Trustpilot wouldn’t work without their feedback and we’re very grateful that so many people take the time to help safeguard our community,” says Kasper Heine.

Press contact

US, UK & ANZ enquiries

Christie Garratt

+44 (0)7955 699 872

press@trustpilot.com

Related News

Trustpilot detects and removes 2.7 million fakes, as platform surges to 46.7 million reviews in the last year

Transparency Report Cover 2022 - square
May 11, 2022Globalarrow icon

Trustpilot issues legal proceedings against Global Migrate for repeated abuse and fake reviews

trustpilot_office_cph_3.png
February 14, 2022United Kingdomarrow icon

A message from our Founder and CEO, Peter, on Ukraine

TP_Presssite_Ukraine2.png
March 10, 2022Globalarrow icon

We've committed to being the most trusted review platform in the world.