New York Attorney General Uses Fake Yogurt Shop to Crack Down on Fake Online Reviews

Sting was the largest enforcement action ever against astroturfing

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A fake yogurt shop in Brooklyn, N.Y., was used as the base for the New York attorney general's massive sting against fake online reviews. As a result of the yearlong undercover effort, dubbed "Operation Clean Turf," the state brought action against 19 companies.

The 19 companies agreed to cease their practice of writing fake online reviews for businesses. Several firms, including Zamdel, XVIO, Laser Cosmetica, U.S. Coachways and Swam Media Group, paid penalties ranging from $2,500 to just under $100,000 each for a total of $350,000.



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