4 Ways to Spot a Fake Testimonial

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Over the past several years as a copywriter, I’ve come across a few prospects who wanted to hire me to write fake testimonials for their marketing materials. I refused, but I’ve now seen plenty of forged testimonials written by others, so I’ve gotten pretty good at sniffing out phony testimonials.

Here are 4 ways to spot a fake testimonial.


  1. There isn’t a last name—In most cases, fake testimonials are attributed to names like “Joe G. from TX” or “Tina S. from NY.” No last names are used, presumably to prevent anyone from trying to verify the legitimacy of the testimonials. You’ll also notice that fake testimonials often don’t have a city, just a state.
  2. There isn’t a website link—If the company sells products or services to businesses, the testimonials should have links back to the individual’s business website. All of the testimonials on my website include a link to the client’s company website. It shows customers that my testimonials are in fact real.
  3. No accompanying photo or video—You should always be wary of testimonials that don’t have a photo or video of the individual leaving the remarks. Written testimonials without picture or video are the least trustworthy of all testimonials.
  4. It sounds like marketing speak—Obviously, testimonials will say positive things about the company. But there’s a fine line between glowing remarks from a customer and obvious marketing speak you find in a fake testimonial. If the testimonial contains phrases the company uses in its marketing or just feels like a written advertisement, it very well could be a fake.


Have you ever seen any fake testimonials?

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