Australians are increasingly using review websites to help make purchasing decisions with almost a third (29%) saying their usage has increased in the last 12 months, new research from True Local reveals*.

As Australians become more familiar with using ratings and reviews websites, they are also becoming savvier about the content they read with approximately nine in 10 (89%) raising concerns about the authenticity of online reviews.

To help Australians feel confident in knowing the reviews they read are genuine and authentic, True Local, one of Australia’s most trustworthy ratings and reviews websites, has implemented new anti-fraud technology, which allows them to continuously identify and eradicate fake reviews.

True Local General Manager, Robert Tolliday said the research revealed Australians are aware of how sophisticated scammers are getting, with only six percent of people feeling confident that they could spot a fake review.

“It’s important for people visiting the True Local website to feel assured knowing all reviews published are genuine and authentic,” said Mr Tolliday.

“We take fake reviews seriously, and the industry leading anti-fraud technology we have implemented allows us to identify and reject reviews that are fake before they are published.

Currently we’re rejecting up to 20 percent of reviews that are fake and don’t comply with Australian Competition and Consumer Commission guidelines.”

To ensure all reviews are authentic, True Local uses a combination of fraud monitoring technology and trained human moderation teams. The process of the anti-fraud technology includes up to 100 checks. Some of these include:

  • Detecting where and how content originates and is posted – looking at IP addresses
  • Identifying clear data patterns including uniqueness of the content, spam, bots and repetitive script
  • Human moderation teams apply further critical analysis, combined with forensic style research to identify possible fraud rings and patterns in the data

Further notable statistics from the research:

  • Over two in five (42%) of Australians are reading reviews regularly (1-3 times a week)
  • Four in five (81%) Australians are worried businesses may pay for fake positive reviews to be written on their behalf
  • Women are more likely to think 20% or more of online reviews are fake
  • Australians living in capital cities are more likely to use online review websites (91% vs 84%)

 

*Survey conducted with a sample size of 1260 by Lonergan Research on behalf of True Local