Here’s How To Spot Scam Reviews When You Online Shop

Online reviews are an amazing way to figure out where you’re going to eat that night, what product you’re going to buy, or literally anything else. They help us avoid negative experiences and seek out the best experiences.

Personally, I use Yelp every single day. It is amazing because your friends and family haven’t always used the services or products you’re looking for. Online reviews provide you with up to hundreds of reviews of exactly what you need.

These reviews have saved me from a lot of unfortunate situations. For example, I have recently been looking for a new apartment. I was planning to look at what looked like a very nice building. I turned to the internet to find reviews. I read that the management was horrible, and the building was just plain gross. This saved me from even wasting my time and looking at it.

I usually take reviews with a grain of salt, because people are most likely to only leave a review if they had a bad experience. That is why it’s important to read more than one review when seeking opinions.

I have always looked to online reviews for advice and suggestions, that was until I learned that they may not always be what they seem. There are actually companies that can be hired to write fake reviews, to fool consumers.

Some of these people will do whatever you need to falsely boost your business, for a fee that is. They even have techniques to make these fake reviews appear real. They continuously create great reviews, but only post a few each month so it doesn’t look fishy.

Aside from reviews, you can hire people to create fake views on Youtube videos to make the videos appear more popular than they are. Many large record labels were actually caught doing this.

These people don’t even check if it’s legitimate business or not. If they are paid, they will say whatever you want them to, and even create fake experiences.  

Although this doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, it can actually be life-effecting. If you read a fake review for a restaurant, and it turns out to be bad, you’re not losing that much.

If you turn to reviews to choose a lawyer, an accountant or even an apartment like I did, fake reviews could make a bad business look great, hurting you in the long-run. These people making fake reviews don’t think about people like us, who trust reviews and use them to make any big purchase.

This is how to find out if they’re real or a scam…

Police Warn You Should Never Pick Up A Bottle You Find In Your Yard

As the weather starts to warm up, it’s a good time to remind ourselves about one of the country’s most popular – and dangerous – pranks.

They’ve been called Works bombs, mailbox bombs, bottle bombs, and Drano bombs, but whatever you call them, they spell danger if you get too close.

Building these nasty science projects has been a popular teenage pastime for decades, but now that there are tutorials on YouTube, they’ve become even more common.

The basic idea is that a plastic bottle is stuffed with aluminium foil and the cleaning product Drano, or similar household products.

A pair of bottle bombs.WTOP

The combination releases gas and heat, which eventually explodes out of the bottle.

For many children, the creation is just harmless fun. But pranksters have taken to hiding the bombs on their neighbor’s property, or even throwing them at unsuspecting people.

The Eagle Tribune reported on these bombs being stuffed in mailboxes in Methuen, Massachusetts, and a 12-year-old girl from New York City was burned when she found a bottle bomb in a playground.

Even small bombs in plastic bottles can shower victims in corrosive chemicals and shrapnel if they get too close.

Police are warning the public about how to spot one of these deadly “pranks” before they get too close.

People Are Getting Free Amazon Packages, But It’s All Part Of A Scam

I will literally take anything that’s free, which is probably why I stock up on clear plastic bags at the grocery store. It’s not something I’m proud of, but I tell myself that everyone does it. Right?

Free samples being given to you is one thing, but having products shipped straight to your door is another. It feels good, until you learn that nothing in life comes free…

One couple from Massachusetts has been receiving mysterious packages from Amazon since October. At first they thought it was a mistake, but now they’re worried they’re part of an elaborate fake reviews scam.

Retired nurses Mike and Kelly Gallivan told The Boston Globe that they were feeling like how anyone of us would feel receiving free items: overwhelmingly excited. But once they learned how the scam works, they were thoroughly disappointed…

Police Issue Warning About Scary New License Plate Scam

Do you own a car? If yes, do you have your license plate number memorized?

Most drivers know this number by heart, some can even correctly recite their registration number and their odometer’s exact reading, but not everyone can say the same.

Road Traffic Signs

Now, police are encouraging motorists to memorize the digits on their vehicle’s plate because it could help them easily get out of a potentially dangerous situation.

Fishers Police Department in Indiana issued a warning in a Facebook post about a scam that every driver, whether they’re located in Indiana or not, should be aware of.

They recounted an incident that occurred recently involving two men who attempted to get a female driver to pull using an arguably clever tactic.

Secret Service Reveals How To Spot “Skimmers” Hiding On Your Gas Pump

It’s genius, totally evil, and hides in plain sight. Most people have never heard of an ATM skimmer before, but unless you know what to look for you could fall victim to one.

The FBI and Secret Service have been warning the public about these devices as they become more common across the country.

A phony card reader has been placed over this ATM’s real part.Laurel Police Department

The basic idea behind an ATM skimmer is that something has been added to the machine to steal your credit card number and PIN. While they’re most commonly found on bank ATMs, they’ve also been spotted on gas pumps and regular credit card readers.

These flimsy little devices are surprisingly profitable for the crooks who set them up. A pair of brothers in New York netted more than $1 million by attaching skimmers to ATM machines in 2010.

Krebs On Security

And the risk of having your identity stolen is even greater if you haven’t switched to a chip card yet (as many as 55% of Americans haven’t).

Thankfully, once you know what to look for, this scam is easy to avoid.

Police Arrest Alleged “Nigerian Prince” Email Scammer In Louisana

While it is often the butt of jokes on late-night TV, most people are familiar with the “Nigerian Prince” email scam. Many of us hope that people haven’t fallen for this silly scheme, but like all scams there are victims who believe the stories they are being told.

According to Louisiana’s Police Department, Michael Neu is not connected to any African royalty.

After an 18-month investigation, authorities have found that this con artist has a prolific track record of swindling people out of money. The 67-year-old was arrested and charged with 269 counts of wire fraud and money laundering after serving as a middleman in a variation of the Nigerian prince scam that became so widely known.

New York Times

The scam that Neu has been charged with running actually predates the days of dial up internet.

In one of the schemes, someone claims that a benefactor, often a Nigerian prince, has left you an inheritance and you are required to provide your bank information so that the funds could be transferred to you. Some iterations of the scam ask victims to send money that will be later reimbursed along with the funds. Needless to say, those funds don’t exist.

Neu’s arrest is actually an important milestone for authorities.

Scam Alert: Don’t Trust Holiday “Gift Exchanges” On Social Media

Tis the season…for scammers. Be wary this Christmas, because not everyone’s as giving as they seem on social media.

We’ve warned you before about all kinds of scams that land the people behind them on the naughty list, but this might be the worst one yet, because it preys on your Christmas spirit.

An example of the famous scam.Good Housekeeping

By now you’ve probably seen social media posts or groups called the Secret Sister Gift Exchange. The promises these posts make sound too good to be true: buy a $10 gift for the person at the top of the list, share the post, and soon you’ll get 36 gifts of your own in the mail.

Sadly, this is just a high-tech version of an old chain letter pyramid scheme, and it’s been circulating on social media websites since at least 2015.

How these “gift exchanges” supposedly work.Life With Lisa

The scam has proved so popular that the Better Business Bureau has stepped in, warning customers not to believe everything they read online. The organization says you won’t just be disappointed by the scam, you could actually wind up in big trouble with the law.

Thankfully, these scams are easy to recognize and avoid if you know what to look for.

New IKEA Scam Wants To Steal Your Information

The internet is a haven for scam artists, and just when you begin to think that you’ve escaped being a victim, another scam comes knocking.

As the holiday season approaches, there tends to be an increase in scams aimed at shoppers and this year is no different. A new phishing scam has been going around targeting unsuspecting fans of the popular furniture store IKEA.  

Fortune

The new money-making scheme has been popular among WhatsApp circles, where users are sent a message offering them a fake store voucher.

According to Gulf News Society, the fraudulent message informs users that IKEA is celebrating its 75th birthday and as result they’re giving away $500 coupons.

The message usually looks similar to this: “IKEA is giving away a free voucher of $500! To celebrate its 75th birthday, you can get your free voucher too! Don’t miss it, click here to get your free $500 voucher from IKEA.”

Facebook/Jamna Pandian Contura

The link contained in the message redirects users to a webpage where they’re required to provide some personal information before they can claim the fake coupon.

Since the phony message started receiving widespread attention, IKEA has issued a statement on its Facebook page to deter shoppers from falling for the phishing scam.

There’s A New Netflix Scam That Is Affecting Thousands, Be On The Lookout

Netflix is one of the biggest success stories in modern media. Originally pitched to Blockbuster Video as a way for people to rent DVDs through the mail (Blockbuster turned them down, look how that ended), the service has grown into the most massive online streaming service in the world.

Netflix

Not only do they carry dozens of shows and movies we already love (while constantly adding more), but since 2013, Netflix’s original programming has given us massive hits like House of Cards, Orange Is The New Black, Sense8, and Marvel’s The Defenders franchise.

Netflix

With over 103 MILLION subscribers around the world and revenue of over $8 BILLION, it’s safe to say that the company has firmly established themselves and aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Unfortunately, money like that can often attract some pretty unsavory characters, and right now there are a few who are trying to trick Netflix customers out of their hard-earned money.

Keep reading for details on this scam and how to avoid being tricked by it…