Ever wonder the authenticity of reviews of travel websites such as TripAdvisor? Apparently it’s a serious crime to write fake reviews, and one poster in Italy was fined nearly $10,000 and faces nine months in jail for doing just that!
TripAdvisor has a fraud investigation that looks for fake reviews and removes them, however this case takes it one step further as this is the first time someone is headed to jail for this crime.
Per CBS News,
The man, whose crime was to sell fake TripAdvisor reviews, will be required to pay a fine of 8,000 euros (about $9,300) and will be jailed for nine months, the company said.
It’s the first time a person has been sent to jail for fake reviews, said TripAdvisor. The company, which was a civil party to the case, called the decision “a landmark ruling for the Internet.”
The man, who was not named, ran a company called PromoSalento in the town of Lecce, in the southern tip of Italy. PromoSalento advertised packages of fake reviews to local businesses. TripAdvisor first spotted the business in 2015, the company said in a blog post, and then identified and blocked more than a thousand attempts to submit reviews to TripAdvisor’s site. Businesses that had paid for fake reviews were penalized by lowering their popularity ranking, the company said.
Have you ever been skeptical of a fake online review on TripAdvisor? Share your thoughts below.