APN NewsdeskONLINE shoppers have been warned not to take internet reviews at face value, with new research showing "likes" for products on Facebook are being bought and sold.
The Choice investigation reported online reviews were being sold, with as many as 20 fake reviews costing buyers just $2 to publish.
It also reported popularity online was also being traded among unscrupulous online retailers, with Facebook likes being sold for $70 for 2500 such recommendations.
Choice spokesman Tom Godfrey said consumers should be aware that "not all is as it seems online" and should be wary of such reviews and recommendations.
"From buying whitegoods and electronics to booking accommodation, manipulating consumers with fake reviews, ratings and likes is big business," Mr Godfrey said.
"The message is clear, if you are relying on ratings and reviews on social sites to make an informed purchasing decision - it won't be too long before you're misled into a poor choice."
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