It turns out all those fake-sounding reviews on Amazon.com probably are. Bing Liu, a data-mining expert tells the New York Times that about one in three online reviews are fake.
The reason: there’s a lot of money in fake reviews, according to an excellent exposé by the New York Times’s David Streitfield.
Take the case of Todd Rutherford, for example.
Rutherford used to write press release for authors hoping to get professional reviewers to read their books.
Eventually, Rutherford realized he could cut out the middleman. So he started charging money to write reviews. He would charge $99 for one review, $499 for 20 and $999 for 50. He eventually published 4,531 reviews and at one point pulled in 28,000 per month.