Marketing and PR firms continually tell their clients about the importance of client reviews and testimonials. Good reviews online and on sites like Yelp can mean a thriving business or severely damage the bottom line.
That’s why fictitious reviews are a growing problem. First of all, positive reviews bought and posted degrade the credibility of the review sites, so professional sites are on guard against them. And, if detected, will remove them. If the abuse is continual or excessive, the business could also be removed from the review site. So business owners who are solicited by firms that guarantee positive reviews, and a certain number of them, will likely get burned in the end.
The other side is the negative reviews and the damage that can cause. Competitors have been known to intentionally post poor reviews on sites to get a competitive edge. Just as fictitious positive reviews are a problem for review sites, so are fictitious poor reviews.
Those businesses that are targeted by damaging reviews – glowing or denigrating – may have recourse. Not only can being victimized be damaging to business profits, it can be illegal. There may an issue of slander or libel.
However, in order to bring a lawsuit or charges, there must be evidence. And that’s where a firm like can help. A professional investigator can discover the source of the reviews and provide documentation and intelligence for a lawsuit or other legal action.
Today there is so much focus on computer forensic investigations and cell phone forensics that people forget the value of basic investigative work performed by private detectives. work with attorneys to gather information and provide evidence and documentation using all the skills and strategies developed through the years. It could be an investigation online, but the basic tools are investigative strategy and tenacity, more so than technology.
When you need the truth, you need .
-Brenda McGinley, CEO, All in Investigations, All in Investigations