One of the fist things I use when considering a purchase are the reviews. Some of them really do sound too good to be true. Often, that's enough to stop me from making that purchase.

A data mining expert, Bing Liu tells the New York Times that about one in three online reviews are fake.

The reason: there’s a lot of money in fake reviews, according to an expose' by the New York Times, said USA Today.

Take the case of Todd Rutherford, for example.

Rutherford used to write press release for authors hoping to get professional reviewers to read their books.

Eventually, Rutherford realized he could cut out the middleman. So he started charging money to write reviews. He would charge $99 for one review, $499 for 20 and $999 for 50. He eventually published 4,531 reviews and at one point pulled in 28,000 per month.

The business worked because it worked for his  clients. Authors who get a bunch of reviews on Amazon tend to sell more books than those who don’t.

The business eventually folded when Google realized he was selling positive reviews and refused to sell him any more ads. Then Amazon nuked almost all of his reviews.

Rutherford is now selling RVs, offline. But he’s angling for a way to get back in the game. His most recent plan is to charge $99 to write tweets about books for his 33,000 Twitter followers.