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It is absolutely amazing that businesses still post client testimonials on their websites and consumers still read them. Not only are these reviews hand selected, they’re often heavily edited. In some cases, the customers are paid to write them.

But there’s a weirder and more deceptive side to these reviews that are not as obvious, fake reviews. Some businesses will pay writers half a world away to create these reviews for them. But other times, the reviews are unintentionally fake. And the Chicago Tribune sussed out some examples of the latter.

For businesses who are looking for quick way to get their websites online, they turn to companies like Wix which let them easily create a new website through a drag-and-drop platform. To help get these websites online quicker, Wix provides stock photos of people with prefilled names and reviews in their templates. The intent is that the business owner would change all of these elements to ones belonging to real customers. As you probably guessed, that doesn’t always happen.

So check out the Chicago Tribune’s investigation into this practice. And remember to take online testimonials with a grain of salt.

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