How To Spot Fake Glassdoor Reviews: 7 Key Signs

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For the most part, Glassdoor is a wealth of information for jobseekers about potential employers. The site has more than 115 million reviews and insights for more than 2.3 million companies, and according to its data, about 75% of users read at least four reviews before deciding what they think about a company.

However, not every review and insight on Glassdoor is authentic.

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“Glassdoor is a great resource, but it’s important to be aware of possible fake reviews,” said Linda Shaffer, chief people and operations officer (CPOO) at Checkr. “While many present and past employees use the platform to air their grievances and share their experience, fake Glassdoor reviews can occur for a variety of reasons. These include employees trying to boost their own standing, competitors or disgruntled ex-employees.”

Here are seven key signs to look for to help you spot fake Glassdoor reviews.

Too Positive or Negative

You’ve probably seen reviews that seem too good to be true, and also those that leave you wondering if the reviewer is being unfair. Either extreme is a red flag that the review could be fake. 

“Look for any subtle signs about the authenticity of the review and check if it seems too positive or negative, which might indicate exaggeration or fabrication,” said Sarah Watson, mental health professional and chief operating officer at BPTLAB.

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Andrew Lokenauth, founder and CEO of Fluent in Finance, also said that reviews that are overly positive or negative could be fake. “Authentic reviews are often balanced, with both positive and negative comments,” he said.

Shaffer said to look for certain words. “Similarly, if you spot words like ‘never’ or ‘always,’ which are hyperbolic, this could be a sign of a fake review,” said Shaffer. 

Perfectly Written

While there are people who write without error, a perfectly written review could be a red flag — like someone is trying too hard.

“Pay attention to the language used in the review,” said Lokenauth. “If the review is written in perfect English, with no spelling or grammar mistakes, it may be fake.

Five-Star Ratings Across the Board

Giving an employer five-star ratings across the board is phenomenal, but unfortunately, stellar reviews are not always authentic.

“Check for consistency in the reviewer’s comments,” said Lokenauth. “If a reviewer gives a company five stars in every category, it may be a sign that the review is fake.”

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It’s Too Similar to Other Reviews

To boost a company’s ratings, someone associated with the company might post a batch of fake reviews. 

“Look for reviews that are very similar to each other,” said Lokenauth. “If multiple reviews use the same language or make the same points, it may be a sign that they are fake.”

Many Reviews Dated Close Together

By the same token, a lot of reviews that are all posted the same day or within a short period of time signals fraud. 

“Consider the number of reviews,” Lokenauth said. “If a company has a large number of reviews, but they all appear within a short time frame, it may be a sign that the reviews are fake.”

Lacks Specifics

“Fake reviews often lack specifics, either positive or negative,” said Shaffer. “Be wary of overly-generalized descriptions and look for tangible examples or explanations to back up claims made in the review.”

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Fake Tone

Finally, while reading reviews, ask yourself if you can hear a real person giving an authentic review saying the words written in the review. If it sounds fake, it probably is.

“Take account of the tone,” Shaffer said. “Does it sound like it’s from an actual employee? Or is it too salesy or promotional?”

It’s worthwhile noting that Glassdoor does moderate its content to try to prevent these fake reviews from slipping through the cracks.

“Glassdoor strives to be the most trusted and transparent place for people to research companies and make more informed career decisions,” a spokesperson said. “This is why we ask all reviewers to provide pros, cons and advice to management to help job seekers evaluate companies before they apply. Each piece of content must meet our community guidelines or it does not appear on the site, and we’re proud to have a team of people dedicated to content moderation to ensure that the highest quality of reviews appear on Glassdoor. If anyone suspects that a review is fake, they can click the flag icon below the review and our content moderation team will re-review.”

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About the Author

Cynthia Measom is a personal finance writer and editor with over 15 years of collective experience. Her articles have been featured in MSN, AOL, Yahoo Finance, INSIDER, Houston Chronicle and The Seattle Times. She attended the University of Texas at Austin and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English.
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