I was able to fake an online presence for two businesses in a matter of hours

When I bought my house I relied heavily on reviews to choose my conveyancers. I had no idea what a conveyancer did to be honest so I had nothing other than other people opinions to go on. I found one that had brilliant reviews. Several were being added each day and having the odd negative review made me trust them more as their reviews seemed real. It turns out those reviews were fakes and as a result I was nearly homeless waiting for the conveyancers to actually do some work. It was this that inspired me to show people just how easy it is for companies to fake their whole online presence, and how you are likely being scammed on a daily basis as a result.

Step 1 – Buy a domain name for a fake business 

I chose Ye Olde Albie Pub just because my son is called Albie.

Step 2 – Create a fake website

It took me about 15 minutes to put a website together on WordPress through GoDaddy.

Step 3 – Create a fake Facebook

Facebook put zero checks in to the pages they allow to be created. I was able to create a fake Facebook page in a matter of minutes. This stayed up there for a month until I took it down prior to writing this blog post. Even the blatant spam reviews and likes flooding the page didn’t raise any questions. Quite scary when you consider all of the fake news headlines they have been hit with.

Step 4 – Create a fake Twitter account

Just like Facebook it was quick and easy to create a fake Twitter without any checks.

Step 5 – Create a fake Instagram

Step 6 – Buy fake Facebook reviews

There were lots of companies I found on Google that offered this service. I just went with the cheapest one. As you can see you can buy up to 3000 reviews on Facebook from this site for just $150. And the reviews will be up in 5 days!

647 fake 5 star reviews appeared on the page in just a few hours. The ones they put up look pretty fake if you read them but padded out with some real reviews they could easily be hidden. Your business suddenly looks the most popular place around.

Step 7 – Buy fake Facebook likes

The All Star package on the Boost My Followers website allows companies to buy 50,000 likes for just $999.

I bought 500. They delivered 592 within a few days.

Step 8 – Buy fake Instagram followers

There are hundreds of companies that offer this service and this is why lots of advertisers worry about hiring “influencers” due to ‘Influencer Fraud’. A lot of the big Instagram profiles you look at will have fake followers. On the Best Followers website you can buy up to 2000.

I was up to 535 followers almost instantly.

Step 9 – Buy fake Instagram picture likes

I bought these from The Best Followers website again to save some time. There’s lots of other companies that offer this service.

I checked on this 22 hours after I posted the picture and had 278 likes. You’ll tend to find whoever sells likes, follows and so on will give you more than you bought because after a few days you will lose some likes due to the platforms realising some are fake accounts.

Step 10 – Pay someone to record a fake testimonial about the business

The best place to get a fake testimonial created is the website Fiverr. Here you can find both males and females, of any race and any accent. Websites tend to buy testimonials from a range of people so that they look authentic.

You can essentially get people on Fiverr to say anything about your product or service and these ‘gigs’ are sold to be used on websites, social media and promotional ads.

Knowing this do you still trust video testimonials that you see in Youtube adverts and on websites?

Step 11 – Put testimonial on Twitter

Step 12 – Buy fake retweets of testimonial

I bought retweets from a website listed on Google but they were unresponsive. I think they may have gone out of business. For quickness and to ensure the person I was dealing with was still ‘active’ I bought through eBay. (Surprising that Google actively list sites that sell these services and so do eBay eh?)

I bought 15 just to show that fake retweets can be done.

Step 13 – Buy fake Twitter followers

You can buy up to 10,000 followers from this site for just $99.

In the video it only shows 137. This is because the number of fake followers were still being added at this point. The above is a screenshot just before I took the page down. I only bought 150 but somehow ended up with 541.

Step 14 – Put fake testimonial on Youtube

Step 15 – Buy fake Youtube comments

You can either buy random comments or you can custom create your own comments to be uploaded. As it was cheaper I just bought the random comments.

Step 16 – Buy fake Youtube views

That video that you wonder how it got 500,000 views? They may be fake.

You can buy literally anything for social media online

You can buy things for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Soundcloud, LinkedIn, Musical.ly, Pinterest and Spotify.

You’ve seen how social media can be faked. Now on to reviews….

The only place I struggled to put a fake company was on Google Maps. You had to receive a code through the post for this so for quickness I just chose a random business. I’ve blocked out the business in all screenshots and in the video as I’m sure they wouldn’t want to be mentioned alongside fake reviews.

Step 1 – Buy some fake Google reviews

Just because you can’t put a fake company on Google Maps doesn’t mean a real company can’t have fake reviews on their Google profiles. On this site you can buy up to 300 reviews and you can custom write them if you wish so they look real.

The thing that really shocked me was how easy it was to buy reviews from ‘local guides’. These are the people you fully expect on Google you can trust!

Step 2 – Buy fake Tripadvisor reviews

I chose eBay to get a review up quickly. There are whole companies that offer this service. (More about this later)

Step 3 – Buy fake Yelp review

Whole companies exist with fake reviews being their only service

You can buy reviews for Yelp, Tripadvisor, Trustpilot, Angieslist, HomeAdvisor and more.

Worried that you can’t trust reviews on traditional sites anymore? You should be!

Try Hubbite – a site where you only see reviews that your friends have written. It’s the only site where you can trust what you are reading. Download the app on Google Play and the App Store Now!

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