Please note that Consumer Alerts are currently only available in the United States and Canada.
We introduced our Consumer Alerts program back in 2012 to warn people when we see brazen attempts to manipulate ratings and reviews – either by purchasing/incentivizing people for reviews, writing a bunch of reviews from the same IP address (a helpful indicator that they may lack authenticity), acquiring reviews from a deceptive review ring, or threatening reviewers with legal action. While our recommendation software does a great job weeding out unreliable reviews so you don't have to, our investigation team is also always on the job.
When we issue an alert, a warning message pops up over the review section of a business page informing the user of the particular action we have learned about, sometimes with a link to view the evidence. The user must manually close the popup to read any of the reviews.
It’s important to keep in mind that we don’t act in haste when issuing these alerts – our team painstakingly gathers evidence and conducts stings. For actions other than legal threats, the Consumer Alert warning will generally be removed from the business page after 90 days if the offending behavior stops. Consumer Alerts based on legal threats are reevaluated on a case-by-case basis. You can read more about Consumer Alerts and other ways Yelp fights to help consumers in the Consumer Protection Initiative section of our blog.