On Monday, Eric Schneiderman settled cases with 19 companies that included $350,000 in penalties after a yearlong investigation into the fake plaudits sometimes called "astroturfing." The term is based on the synthetic grass used on sports fields.
Schneiderman says he found companies that filed false reviews on Yelp, Google Local, CitySearch and other websites.
Many were written by people in Philippines, Bangladesh and Eastern Europe for $1 to $10 per review.
Some fraudulent writers also defended their fake reviews on websites challenging the reviews.
One undercover agent was able to hire a company to create a false positive impression of a fictitious company.
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Members of the community of the Riverdale section of the Bronx gathered above the site of the crash of a metro-north train to pray for the injured and the dead. Four passengers were killed and more than 60 injured when the commuter train heading to Manhattan from Poughkeepsie derailed Sunday morning near the Spuyten Duyvil station.
Commuters who rely on Metro-North trains to get to and from New York City will need to make adjustments to their regular travel plans. Expect reduced service on the Hudson Line between Poughkeepsie and Yonkers following Sunday's deadly train derailment in the Bronx.