FAKESPOTOnline shopping has become the preferred method of shopping for many of us. But according to the Government Accountability Office, 42% of the brand-name products that we purchased were counterfeit. Consumer Reports has a good article on how to avoid buying fake products online, and how to claim a refund if you do get a counterfeit. (To read that article, go to our Database page, click on “Consumer Reports”, and have your library card number handy.)

Another way to avoid buying a counterfeit product is to use Fakespot.com. Fakespot is a data analytics company that attempts to prevent misleading content from deceiving consumers. Its algorithms look for suspicious patterns that identify unreliable reviews on Amazon™, TripAdvisor™, Walmart™, and Yelp™.

The site is free. You just copy the product or business link from the URL of your browser. Paste the copied link into the “FAKESPOT Analyzer”, click “Analyze Reviews” and wait a few seconds for the results. The results will provide a letter grade reflecting the trustworthiness of the reviews, and might say things like “Our engine has profiled the reviewer patterns and has determined that there is high deception involved.”

Happy, and safe, shopping!