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Spotting fake hotel reviews

Rick's hotel recommendations are generally spot on, but sometimes you may want to stay in a place not covered by the guide book suggestions. Or perhaps all the recommended places are full, and you have to strike out on your won to pick a spot. One of the wonderful aids to travel planning online are online sites with hotel guest reviews, so you can get a first hand account of what a hotel is like. Unfortunately, there are dishonest hotel owners who try to scam the system by posting fake reviews. So, what are the tell-tale signs? First, look for reviews with across-the -board high numerical ratings of the hotel's services. Even the best hotels aren't that perfect. Look for anomalies--is it a very small hotel with a huge number of reviews compared to much larger hotels in the same place? Is the hotel recommended for every conceivable type of guest? For sites like trip advisor, you can check the profile of the posters--did they review the hotel the same day they joined the list? Has the poster reviewed any other hotels before or since? In fact, that's a real give-away--when lots of supposed world travelers are reviewing a particular hotel, especially in a smallish place, and yet it's the only hotel they have ever reviewed.

This is becoming a sad fact of life as online travel planning sites are an increasingly valuable asset to travelers. So, stay one step ahead of the scammers and check those profiles. Happy travels...

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