Opinion Fraud Detection in Online Reviews by Network Effects

author: Leman Akoglu, Heinz College, Carnegie Mellon University
published: April 3, 2014,   recorded: July 2013,   views: 2894

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User-generated online reviews can play a significant role in the success of retail products, hotels, restaurants, etc. However,review systems are often targeted by opinion spammers who seek to distort the perceived quality of a product by creating fraudulent reviews. We propose a fast and effective framework, FRAUDEAGLE, for spotting fraudsters and fake reviews in online review datasets. Our method has several advantages: (1) it exploits the network effect among reviewers and products, unlike the vast majority of existing methods that focus on review text or behavioral analysis, (2) it consists of two complementary steps; scoring users and reviews for fraud detection, and grouping for visualization and sensemaking, (3) it operates in a completely unsupervised fashion requiring no labeled data, while still incorporating side information if available, and (4) it is scalable to large datasets as its run time grows linearly with network size. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our framework on syntheticand real datasets; where FRAUDEAGLE successfully reveals fraud-bots in a large online app review database.

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