Have you ever wondered if online ratings websites have bogus reviews? Cynics are now saying “I told you so” when it comes to Yelp, where attorneys at a bankruptcy firm in San Diego are being accused of creating accounts on the site and posting fake, positive reviews about their firm. The McMillan Law Group seems to have been caught posing as satisfied clients, as Yelp has cross-referenced those “clients” with the firm’s bankruptcy filings. Further, according to a report, many of the reviews were created by the same IP address, that of the Law Group.
You may be wondering how Yelp would have any knowledge of sham reviews on their site, but it turns out that they may have been monitoring McMillan for months now. In May of this year, the McMillan Law Group successfully sued Yelp in California state court based on a claim that Yelp decreased the firm’s online visibility because they did not purchase advertising space. Whether this was revenge or for another motive, the lesson here is that when choosing a law firm (or anything else), it is important to rely on personal testimonials and a proven track record.