Companies offering fake review service to hotels
If you're needing some pocket money in these cash-strapped times, why not form a covert business that offers to post positive reviews on travel websites? Industry know-it-alls Travolution report that hotel chains and managers are receiving constant offers to have fake reviews posted on TripAdvisor and other sites in return for a monthly fee. The companies claim that the content will be posted from around the world to ensure it doesn't appear suspicious.
Senior management at TripAdvisor said the integrity of its reviews was protected through a screening process, in-house technology and the community reporting suspicious activity. The website also pointed out its staff are aware of several companies engaged in posting false reviews and has already penalised the hotels involved.
That said, one hotel owner quoted mentions a particular hotel he knew of received several reviews before it had even opened to the public. And it seems the TripAdvisor members can spot an alleged fake even if the management can't - one recent commenter in the forums points to this hotel review, noting that nearly all the five star ratings have been the result of a first review by newly registered individuals. The fiends.