Restaurants are creating fake accounts on online takeaway ordering service Just Eat to avoid negative feedback – and to leave false reviews about competitors.
Some businesses are trading under multiple names and may also be avoiding tax payments if their aliases are not registered with Revenue or the Companies Registration Office.
An investigation found that restaurants could avoid people knowing about failed health inspections by trading under more than one name, according to the Irish Times.
Registering company accounts under different names allows restaurants that have been received negative user reviews to direct new customers to a different service.
Just Eat is investigating the practice of dozens of restaurants operating under multiple names. A spokeswoman for Just Eat said an audit would be carried out and the accounts in question had been suspended.
According to the company there are more than 1,700 takeaways on its database and it now aims “to review and monitor” listings.
Travel website TripAdvisor has also been subject to bogus reviews for hotels and restaurants.
As a result it operates a zero tolerance policy for fake reviews and 30 firms globally have been blacklisted.