Five-star fake: TripAdvisor prank fools foodies
‘A BEAUTIFULLY restored boat serving Michelin-starred food. Divers on hand to catch any fish on the menu. Countless reviews describing the cooking as ‘simply divine’.
This restaurant sounds too good to be true. Trouble is, it was. Because when dozens of foodies headed to Oscar’s to sample the ‘mind-blowing’ food after reading its glowing reviews on TripAdvisor, all they found was an alleyway full of bins.
The restaurant had never existed. Instead, the would-be diners had fallen victim to an online prank designed to expose the failings of the review website.’
‘But Chris Emmins, co-founder of the online reputation management firm KwikChex, said the hoax cast doubt on TripAdvisor’s ability to spot fraudulent reviews.
He said: ‘The listing featured over-the-top reviews for a fake business, but it went undetected for more than two months. It’s difficult to see how TripAdvisor’s system can detect elaborate fraud, if they can’t detect one like this.’
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