PHOENIX — Are you shopping for the holidays?
Maybe you've found some great prices online, but don't know much about the site.
A lot of us trust reviews to find good businesses.
But should you?
Some of them may not be real, and created just to increase review numbers and star ratings.
Aaron Weiche is with Gatherup.com, which helps businesses use reviews honestly.
Aaron says reviews are still a good way to find good businesses.
But he adds that you need to look at them a little deeper.
He says when looking up a business check multiple review sites and compare them.
Does one site have many more reviews or a much higher rating than the rest?
Either one could be a warning.
Then check reviewers.
At Google, click on the reviewer's name.
Look for unusual patterns.
Aaron says if they have multiple reviews for just one or two industries, it could be a fake.
Also look for things that just don't make sense.
If a person has many reviews for the same places around the country in a very short period of time, it's suspect.
Also, run the reviewer's profile picture through an image search site like Google images.
Does the picture actually belong to someone else?
Aaron thinks these review sites can do more to check the authenticity of the reviews and reviewers and remove them.
In the meantime, take a little more time the next time you check reviews.
Do you have a consumer issue?
Call the Let Joe Know hotline at 855-323-1515 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
And you can let me know on the Let Joe know Facebook page.