Fake Review Websites

How to Spot a Fake, Fraudulent or Scam Website

Identifying Fake Review Websites
Best Products and Services Review Websites Warning Signs

Updated: July 5, 2023
By: RSH Web Editorial Staff

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Fake Review Websites

Most Review Sites are Not Review Sites at All

The Internet is littered by literally thousands of Review websites. These reviews sites can have a massive impact on the perception about a product or service.

But do you know that the large majority of Review websites do not review anything. They are nothing more than Affiliate Websites. They are basically advertisement websites that contain links to companies that pay out for new customers. Read further to learn how to identify phony review sites and how to carry out your own comparisons when buying any product.

Spotting a Fake Review Site

Are you finding similar Best Reviews websites? Are they all reviewing the same products or companies?

When reading the reviews, do you notice similar word groupings and writing styles?

This often means the reviewers are either copying information or that the reviews were all written by the same person. Yes, we have seen as many as 12 different websites, all written by the same person.

Check if the outgoing links on the Reviewed Products include an affiliate tracking code. If so, anything appearing on the site is based not in truth, but in what is most likely to generate sales.

If everything on the website is nothing but advertising disguised as impartial reviews, then they have no expectation of having visitors return, and consequently no risk of anyone questioning the integrity of the reviews.

Why Review Sites?

Most often we use Google when searching to find the products or services we are looking for.

For example, if you want to buy a new android phone, you might try a search such as
The Best Android Phone.

You would think that Google Search results will display unbiased website ratings and reviews of the best phones currently trending in the market.

This is not the case

The first 10 results, we use as an example, are sites that are fake review sites trying to deceive you into buying through their reviews sites. They only list those companies or products that pay a commission.

Another search example, The Best VPN Services

Show me how to tell whether the Reviews are real or just an Affiliate link

How to know if a review blog or site is an affiliate website?.

Today, virtually all big companies have some sort of affiliate program. They offer high paying commissions to Affiliates.

You can tell whether a review website is legit or just earning money through affiliate marketing by looking at the links they display for the products or places they are reviewing.

Are the links standard in appearance or normal looking like these links:
RSH Web Services Amazon.com Ebay.com

Hover your mouse over the above links, look in the bottom right corner of your Browser, what do you see? Links going directly to their website, like these?
https://rshweb.com    https://www.amazon.com    https://www.ebay.com

Now hover your mouse over this link

Do you see a link like this:


This is a good example of an affiliate link

Other affiliate links might look like these:


These review sites focus only on reviewing products with the highest affiliate commissions on their website


Other Affiliate sites

888sport.com offer some of the highest affiliate commissions in the sports betting and gambling niche

Samsung and Motorola.com are leading in the tech niche

GoDaddy with 30% commission, Wix with $100 per sign up and Bluehost $65 per referral are some of the biggest in the Hosting industry.

Every review has a certain degree of bias, but some review websites are notorious for fake reviews. It is quite imperative to identify such misleading review sites and stay away from them.

Also keep in mind that some bad reviews can be a ploy used by companies to downgrade their competitors' products.

The best way is to consider reports from legit, unbiased sites only. Look for legitimate websites where users are allowed to post reviews only after they have bought and used the product.

It isn't easy to trust online reviews, as freelancers and bloggers are now paid to write reviews.


Even Trustpilot cannot be trusted.

RSH Web had well over 150 positive reviews. But when we would not sign up and pay a monthly fee. All our reviews but 3 disappeared.

We have listed a few other websites talking about Trustpilot.

Complaints Against Trustpilot - Listing Class Action Lawsuits. Complaints and Unethical practices. Also including Better Business Bureau Complaints

Can Trustpilot.com be trusted? Or is it just a scam?
Unethical Practices: The consensus is that Trustpilot cannot be trusted. They manipulate reviews in favor of clients on their paid plans.

Trustpilot not to be trusted so much - MoneySavingExpert

Can 'TrustPilot.com' Be Trusted? - True Reviews

Is Trustpilot Reliable? I Wouldn't Count On It

BBC One Watchdog - Trustpilot

Are Trustpilot reviews trustable? - Quora
I am going to go with, no Trustpilot reviews are not trustable

Trustpilot Reviews & Learn About Trustpilot Pricing
If Trustpilot cannot be trusted to show true reviews then they should not be hosting such a service

Fighting Back Against Fake Reviews

Amazon, The Federal Trade Commission, Yelp and even the New York Attorney General to name just a few are suing fake review sites

ABC News: Amazon Sues Over Fake Reviews
Amazon suing more than 1,000 allegedly fake reviewers, that offer their services on the online marketplace - (Fiverr.com). For posting ads that promise a five-star review

FTC Brings First Case Challenging Fake Paid Reviews
When a company buys fake reviews to inflate its Amazon ratings, it hurts both shoppers and companies that play by the rules. What the FTC Did to Protect Consumers According to the FTC's complaint

Writing Fake Reviews On Yelp? You Might Get Sued
It is also important to note that this is not the first time Yelp has tried to sue someone over fake reviews. This is Yelps second complaint it filed against a business related to deceptive reviews

Fake Reviewers Get Zero Stars From New York Attorney General
All Tech Considered Nineteen companies agreed to pay more than $350,000 in penalties to settle accusations that they wrote or bought fake reviews

Other Website Reporting on Fake Review Websites

Online shopping scams. How to identify fake sites

NBC News
Fake Online Reviews: Here Are Some Tips for Detecting Them

The Washington Post
How to spot fake reviews on travel sites

Tripadvisor Received 1 Million Fake Reviews Last Year - Here's How to Spot Real Ones

This Is Why You Should Not Trust Online Reviews

How to Spot a Fake Review Website: 11 Steps with Pictures

How-To Geek
How to Spot Fake Reviews on Amazon, Yelp, and Other Sites

How to spot fake reviews on travel websites

How to Spot and Manage Fake Reviews

Complete Guide To Identify Fake Reviews On Amazon

How Fake Reviews Are Manipulating You Online

NBC News
Can you trust online reviews? Here's how to find the fakes

The Next Web
How to spot fake reviews

Fake Reviews: What is a Fake Review, and Why Should You Care?

This has become a real problem for all of us
Help spread the word about these Fake Review Affiliate Websites
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Thank you


Kit M
Good Info!! Thanks

Judy Jones
Thank you for this post, I always wondered why you only see a hand full of big named companies. Now we know

Serl P
This guide has been great. Everyone needs to share this!!

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