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Fake Google reviews & scammers

I do all of my selling on Etsy, but I have a website too that I have not put any real effort into. Therefore I get pretty much no orders on it, maybe one a month, so I only have 10 total orders ever on my website. So you can imagine my shock when I get an email from google that I have a new review on my website…a 1 star review saying that my business is a scam, that she's been waiting on her order for 3 months, that she's emailed me 5x with no response, etc. Obviously a fake review, but its also my only review so it could really hurt me (I do have 5 stars on Etsy though). I have reason to believe that a group of scammers are out there with the idea that my business is an easy target for scams as I've had other things like this happen lately, such as people contacting me saying that they bought stuff from me that I don't even carry, wanting to know where their order is. I posted on here when that happened and had people tell me that it's a common scam, especially for business like mine (fine jewelry).

I flagged the review and it was denied for removal, so I contacted google again to have the issue escalated and I'm still waiting to hear back. I made it clear that I can give them proof that this is a fake review from someone that I have never gotten an order or an email from.

So two questions:

  1. has anyone ever successfully gotten a google review removed that was clearly fake? I feel like if they deny it again, the only thing I can do is get my entire family to leave reviews on products that they have from my business so that the 1 star review is drowned out with 5 stars.
  2. has anyone else had a problem with scammers, and if so is there anything you did to stop it? I think maybe mine looks like an easy target maybe because I don't have any reviews, so they think a 1 star will make me panic and send them something for free? This has only started in the last month and I've been doing this for almost a year now, so I'm not sure what is going on.

submitted by /u/tasteslikecaviar
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