What happens when you find out somebody has been posting fake reviews? How do you report review fraud to license boards without getting blowback or breaking any laws yourself? Let's take a look at how digital marketers need to deal with this tricky situation.

What is review fraud and why should it be reported

Review fraud is when fake reviews are paid for and posted on a business listing. These deceptive marketing practices hurt consumers trying to make a purchasing decision based on the qualifications of a given business or professionals.

How to report review fraud to the Federal Trade Commission

step 1. https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/#/assistant

step 2. "something else"

step 3. fill in the details and provide evidence of review fraud

How to report review fraud to your state's Department of Consumer Protection

step 1. https://www.usa.gov/state-consumer

step 2. find the state & type of licensing board

step 3. fill out the complaint and provide evidence of review fraud

How to report review fraud to your state's licensing board

step 1. https://www.bmcc.edu/sites/default/files/bmccstatebystatelicensure.pdf

step 2. find the state & type of licensing board

step 3. fill out the complaint and provide evidence of review fraud

Why it's important that people report others for this type of fraudulent activity

It takes a lot of energy to stimulate change. In today's environment, companies using fake positive reviews aren't being punished. If you've been ripped off by a company using fake reviews, they need to be reported and disciplinary action needs to be taken, otherwise, more and more consumers will get hurt. This is arms control, your taking the ammunition away from bad people.

How you can protect yourself from being reported by others

Don't purchase fake reviews. Create a GMB Help thread immediately if you're getting fake positive/negative reviews consistently, so they can be addressed by Google Product Experts.

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