Fake restaurant on TripAdvisor sends diners to alley - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Fake restaurant on TripAdvisor sends diners to alley filled with garbage cans

Posted: Updated:
Trip Advisor screenshot Trip Advisor screenshot
  • Must Read HeadlinesMore>>

  • Drive-thru funeral home offers unusual way to say goodbye

    Drive-thru funeral home offers unusual way to say goodbye

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 8:05 AM EDT2014-09-16 12:05:15 GMT
    You won't be getting burgers and fries at this drive-thru window. A Michigan funeral home is offering an unusual way to say goodbye.
    You won't be getting burgers and fries at this drive-thru window. A Michigan funeral home is offering an unusual way to say goodbye.
  • School Asks Teen To Change Out of 'Virginity Rocks' T-Shirt

    School Asks Teen To Change Out of 'Virginity Rocks' T-Shirt

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 3:03 AM EDT2014-09-16 07:03:08 GMT
    An Arkansas junior high school made a teenage girl change out of a T-shirt that reads “Virginity Rocks” because, according to the school, the shirt could raise awkward questions about sex and any potentially disruptive clothing is banned.
    An Arkansas junior high school made a teenage girl change out of a T-shirt that reads “Virginity Rocks” because, according to the school, the shirt could raise awkward questions about sex and any potentially disruptive clothing is banned.
  • Girl, 11, Told By School Not To Wear 9/11 T-shirt

    Girl, 11, Told By School Not To Wear 9/11 T-shirt

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 12:03 AM EDT2014-09-16 04:03:11 GMT
    The stepdaughter of a U.S. veteran was told last week that she was not allowed to wear to school a T-shirt to honor the men and women who died in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
    The stepdaughter of a U.S. veteran was told last week that she was not allowed to wear to school a T-shirt to honor the men and women who died in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

Fake reviews of a restaurant named Oscar's, billed as having "Michelin-starred food," reportedly had diners looking for the eatery in an alley filled with garbage cans.

The U.K.s Telegraph reports that the restaurant, listed on the TripAdvisor website as a floating restaurant built in the hull of an old fishing boat located in England's coastal town Brixham in Devon.  Diner reviews praised it for its "mind-blowing," "simply divine" "perfect" and "amazing" food that "bordered on sorcery." Some reviews even suggesting it ought to be awarded a Michelin star.

But in actual fact, the restaurant was didn't exist and hungry travelers were sent on a wild goose chase looking for the place in the town's alleyway.

According to the Telegraph, Oscar's reportedly first appeared on TripAdvisor in May, climbed 29th place in a ratings list of 64 eateries in the area.

A disgruntled businessman, who uses the name Oscar Parrot, is reportedly behind the hoax, saying he did it because he was fed up with TripAdvisor and its inability to sufficiently police the site and to prevent people from posting malicious reviews.  Parrot, who admitted he posted all the reviews and even provided an email address for them, said his friend's hotel got a list of bad reviews on the site that he suspected was from a rival hotelier.  The restaurant and its reviews have now been removed.

"The listing featured over-the-top reviews for a fake business, but it went undetected for more than two months," Chris Emmins, co-founder of the online reputation management firm KwikChex, told the Telegraph. "It's difficult to see how TripAdvisor's system can detect elaborate fraud, if they can't detect one like this." 

But in a statement to FoxNews.com, TripAdvisor said it was committed to ensuring that the content on the site remains accurate and provides a trusted and useful source of information for those planning a trip anywhere in the world."

"With over 70 pieces of content coming in every minute covering more than 2.7 million properties around the world, occasionally a review or business that does not meet TripAdvisor's guidelines may slip through the cracks, and in these rare cases, our members can report the material to us, helping maintain the high quality content of our site." 

TripAdvisor reportedly developed a new algorithm based on techniques pioneered to combat credit card and insurance fraud that will check every review posted every minute by visitors.

Powered by WorldNow

WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
485 S. Highland St.
Memphis, TN 38111

Main Station: (901) 320-1313
Newsroom: (901) 320-1340

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices