Trusted is busted – examples of how dishonest businesses get their trusted, ‘excellent’, 5 star status on Trustpilot
Trustpilot uses the slogan “Find companies you can trust” – referring to those that have achieved a high ‘Trustscore’ on its platform – but these ratings can lead people relying on supposed trustworthiness into very unsafe situations.
Here are some facts about businesses with these trusted ratings and the reviewers that help them achieve their high ‘Trustscores’.
The ‘Best in Banking & Money’ business that had over 22,000 fake reviews
In November 2022, according to Trustpilot, the Best in the Banking & Money category in the UK was a business named Nova Wallet. They achieved this by accumulating over 23,000 reviews in just a few weeks. In fact, an investigation by KwikChex exposed it as another example of a business promising to reward people for posting 5 star reviews. In reality, the business had little substance and the purported multimillionaire genius behind it has a string of failed businesses, with millions lost by investors and the reputations of some famous people that endorsed his business schemes severely tarnished.
The Nova Wallet example proves just how effective such review fraud can be – and how easy it is to evade Trustpilot’s claims of preventing it. It goes beyond a business attaining a 5 star, trusted status, to actually becoming a supposed financial leader.
After KwikChex exposed the review fraud, an article was published in Der Spiegel newspaper. Only then did Trustpilot take action – and they have still failed to follow trails that lead to thousands more fake reviews and dishonest businesses.
The Number 1 business in Investment Services, Fund Management, Stock Broker and Cryptocurrency Services that doesn’t exist
As of 03 July 2023, a business named Crypto-Base Ltd, is the number 1 ranked business in the UK for Investment Services, Fund Management, Stock Broker and Cryptocurrency Services.
Trustpilot says it is a ‘Verified Company’ – with ‘verified reviews’. The trouble is, the so-called company doesn’t really exist. It uses one false address, has another that belongs to a company that was compulsorily wound up in 2018, and also displays a fraudulent company registration document.
The above are two examples of the many dishonest businesses that far too easily manipulated Trustpilot – in this case to became not only ‘trusted companies’, with 5 star trust ratings – but also achieving the number one rated business in categories that involve consumers making substantial investments.
UPDATE – Trustpilot too little, too late actions
2 weeks after KwikChex published the above regarding Crypto-Base.Ltd. , Trustpilot once again started a ‘clean-up operation. They removed over 150 reviews, and added a warning to the profile – but left over 60 equally fake reviews and the 5 star, excellent rating. More worryingly, they performed a whitewash of the glowing, trusted company credentials they had previously awarded it. They replaced the ‘claimed profile’ status with ‘’unclaimed profile’. They removed the ‘ Verified Company’’ badge they had given it. They now state that the business has no history of asking for reviews when they know that the business was using the Trustpilot system to generate fake requested ‘verified reviews’.
In actual fact, Crypto-Base.Ltd closed its website shortly after KwikChex exposed it, so again Trustpilot is lagging behind the performance needed to protect consumers from trusted company scams.
“Companies you can trust” boast poses a serious risk to consumers
Unlike the millions of fake reviews that are used to simply create an unfair advantage over competitors, on Trustpilot we see criminals using the platform for the specific purpose of serious fraud. This is a large scale problem – at any time KwikChex can easily detect substantial numbers of bogus businesses using Trustpilot to commit fraud – and simultaneously detect hundreds of thousands of fake reviews. Those behind the scams often have multiple profiles and Trustpilot has simply been too slow to stop the abuse. By the time that people realise the businesses are fraudulent and the positive reviews fake, and Trustpilot possibly takes some action, it is too late – and the fraudsters just set up new profiles and do it all over again.
KwikChex to take multiple actions against Trustpilot
To help stop these abuses, KwikChex is commencing several actions against Trustpilot and the fraudsters that are using the online reviews site as a part of their deceptions.