How Do People Get Away With Writing False Reviews On TripAdvisor - Tips And Tricks To Beat The System
False Reviews On TripAdvisor
In this day and age, almost everyone will do a little research online before booking a hotel, or making plans for their holidays. TripAdvisor is by far the most popular website offering online reviews, and most people trust that what they see on TripAdvisor is fairly accurate. The reality is that potentially almost half of what is written on TripAdvisor, and similar review websites, is not authentic reviews from non biased sources, but shill posts from business owners, and in some cases negative reviews posted by competitors. These false reviews have become such an issue that the government of The United Kingdom recently forced TripAdvisor to remove their slogan "reviews that you can trust", from their website, replacing it with the slogan: "reviews from our community". TripAdvisor has issued statements assuring us that they are working with some of the leading online security firms to eliminate any fraudulent reviews, and they are confident that they have the situation under control. The problem with that is, the hackers are always one step ahead of those who are trying to track them, in this article we will discuss the techniques used to identify false reviews, and how people get around this and abuse the system.
Online Identity Tracking
Below are a list of the most common methods used to track the identity of online visitors to a website, it is easy enough to beat the system if you know what it is that they are looking for. These techniques are used rather unsuccessfully by not only TripAdvisor, but also: Paypal, eBay, Facebook and others.
1: IP ADDRESS - This is the easiest way to identify you, websites can log your IP address each time you log in, and they will be able to see exactly what you are up to. Hackers will get around this by using free public WIFI, or by using a proxy, or a modem that generates new IP addresses for each connection.
3: EMAIL ADDRESS - This is pretty straight forward, if you use the same name, email address, DOB or any other personal details, most websites will be able to match your details with other accounts. Hackers will use a variety of fake email addresses, carefully using a new one each time they write a review.
4: DUPLICATE CONTENT - If you try to cut and paste text using the same word for word description, whether it be a positive or negative review, or any other written content, this will be identified immediately by their security software.
5: UNUSUAL ACTIVITY - An unusual increase in activity will always send red flags to security monitors, this could be a sudden increase in sales on eBay, adding too many friends on Facebook, or in the case of TripAdvisor, writing several reviews for the same company in a short period of time.
While it is clear that many of the reviews on TripAdvisor are false, and there is no way to verify which are real or fake, this doesn't mean TripAdvisor is useless. Those who write fake reviews still have no control over those who write true reviews, and with a little common sense, many of the false reviews will likely be easy to spot. For example, if a hotel is getting great reviews from a variety of users, and then all of a sudden there are a few negative reviews, you might have to wonder about their legitimacy, especially if they lack believable detail. In the same respect, if a company has received less than favorable reviews consistently over a period of time, and then get a burst of great reviews, saying "this place rocks", or "simply the best", without offering detail as to why .. you would have to wonder.