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Signs That a Company is a Fraud and How Reviews Give Them Away

The unthinkable happens. Your house has a leak. What else could go wrong? You’re sitting there thinking “this will cost a fortune!”

or, at least that’s what you’d assume. You know nothing about water damage– well, except for the one time you read an article about frozen pipes. You have no idea what to expect and your mind automatically goes to “maybe if I can’t do it myself, I can hire someone to do it for a low price!” and you’re right. You can. But should you? Well, that’s a completely different question.

We’ve touched on this before in previous blog entries. Never hire an unprofessional. It might be tempting with all the dollar signs running through your brain, but if there’s one thing we can assure you, it’s not worth it. Not even a little bit. It will end up costing you more money in the long run and will cause even more frustration. There is no guarantee that the company you’re hiring is even legitimate, let alone qualified to go rummaging through your home. So ask yourself, why would you let them fix something vital to the way your house functions?

I’m sure you have your answer there.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, it’s time to think. How do you even know for sure if the company you have hired is actually a professional? Anyone could pose as a water damage company and show up, right? That’s the unfortunate truth, and it could happen to anyone who isn’t careful. Being IICRC certified is a big importance in this field, but that might not do the trick anymore. Luckily now-days we have multiple ways of finding out if the people we let into our home are worth our hard earned money.

Websites like the Better Business Bureau and main review sites like Yelp have helped us dramatically. By looking at online reviews we have real customer feedback right in front of us to serve as a sort of proof. But don’t be fooled. Some scam artists have mastered the art by faking their reviews to deceive the public eye. Yep, that’s right, fake companies can fake reviews all they like on certain review sites. According to the Boston Globe, sites are increasingly becoming more believable by posting even negative comments to try manipulating the user into thinking the reviews are more natural. This is particularly dangerous and sometimes it’s impossible to tell the legitimate companies from the frauds.

The good news is that the Better Business Bureau are less controlled by submitted reviews, but revolve around complaints as an alternative. Sites can also be BBB Accredited, which means BBB has observed an act of good faith to a customer’s negative complaints. This further prevents any company from posing as a trusted business by confirming there indeed has been positive reinforcement within the review process. It does not prove that business are trusted completely, however. There are still many loopholes in the system and it’s still best to be cautious.

Anyone can pose as a fraud through a computer screen.

There are several frauds, but there are also actual companies that simply buy their reviews due to lack thereof. These companies are perhaps not the most serious of all companies, and are more often than not complete nonprofessionals. There are multiple ways to see if a company has bought their reviews. One method is simply looking at the date the reviews were submitted. If they are all at once or within a very short amount of time apart from each other, chances are very high those reviews were purchased. Another method may be to check the IP of the reviews to see if they’re all the same, though that’s not always as simple. There are many other ways to reach a conclusion on whether or not companies have purchased reviews on their product or service, and it is usually very apparent just by these reviews are written. For more information and methods of evaluation, we recommend taking a quick peak at the Harvard Business School (pdf) study on this topic.


What can we say? Online retail and marketing has dominated any previous form of business and it’s dangerous out there. The best thing to do is use your instinct. Do all your research and if you still feel skeptical, simply do not attempt. These sites may be tempting with extremely low prices and tons of “exclusive” deals, but in order to get great work in most business, you have to pay a good price. If it ever seems too good to be true, it usually is.

Although it’s unfortunate that these things come with a high price, you’re investing in extremely precise work that can do wonders for your home. We’re a company that lives and breathes what we do, we worked hard to get here. Our owner being one 1 of 10 master water damage certified technicians in the state of Texas, there is no problem we cannot fix. Companies like us are what frauds attempt to be, even if it means cutting corners and fooling its customers.