- cr: Flickr

Yelp is cracking down on fake reviews

The reviews site publicly shamed a burger franchise

1y ago

If you try to look at a Yelp review for any location of the burger chain Burgerim right now, you’ll probably be surprised with what comes up on the page.

Instead of being able to read all the reviews, you’ll see a warning.

It reads: “Consumer alert! We caught someone offering up cash, discounts, gift certificates or other incentives in exchange for reviews about this business. We wanted you to know because buying reviews not only hurts consumers, but also honest businesses who play by the rules.”

Yelp has slapped the warning across all its pages for the 200-plus locations of Burgerim.

cr: Yelp

cr: Yelp

The reviews company even has cold hard proof that Burgerim has been offering free meals in exchange for reviews.

It’s a letter (which you can read in full here) that the burger restaurant has been sending out to would-be influencers. They offer a complimentary combo meal in exchange for a five-star Yelp review with photos.

Yelp has been cracking down on paid reviews since 2012. Back in 2016, A CBS News report revealed how Yelp was fighting against fraudulent reviews by "[creating] decoy businesses to catch fraudsters in the act."

Yelp recently sent out similar warnings of “Suspicious Review Activity” when businesses had many reviews made via the same IP address.

An estimated 100 million users view Yelp on desktop every month, and the company is trying to position itself as a consumer watchdog of sorts.

“[Yelp] needs to find ways to get consumer traffic,” Yelp’s VP of communications Vince Sollitto told Eater. “To earn it, we do everything we can, because we’ve always prioritized trust.”

Join In

Comments (6)

  • I was sincerely wondering if anyone used Yelp anymore, since it seems all the Youngs want to have their meals delivered to them. #YelpElite2017181920

      1 year ago
  • I don't know anyone who has enough spare change hiding under the couch cushions for eating out.

    Sorry .

      1 year ago
    • I’m nodding as I head out to steam some rice to go with my beans, collards, and maybe for dinner steamed shrimp 🦐

        1 year ago
    • Sounds like a tasty meal , providing adequate nutrition, at a sensible budgetary level.

      That's all anyone can ask for .

        1 year ago