Internet Shills

Internet Shills
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Internet Shills

Is “shill” a word that you recognize or is this a new word that you have just seen? If you have spent any amount of time on the internet reading forums, reviews, and comments that have been left on articles and blogs, then you may have been exposed to internet shills, but didn’t know it. Are you still confused? Read below to learn more about internet shills.

Scams, Shills and Trolls

The internet has drastically changed many of our lives in a positive manner, but the internet has also become a home to many different types of scammers. You can become a victim to modern scams just by believing comments that have been left by internet “shills”. Internet shills are very similar to internet trolls as they both like to leave comments on forums as a purpose. Internet trolls like to cause an uproar while on a forum and an internet shills are actually paid to leave a positive feedback for products, and they also like to bash the competitors with one goal in mind, which is selling a solution.

How to identify an internet shill

It is difficult to figure out if a review or comment is genuine from a customer that was satisfied or if the review or comment has been written by an internet shill. Remember, an internet shill is paid to post a comment in a positive manner, so that it will create a buzz that has been personally endorsed.

One easy way to figure out if posts are genuine is copying and pasting the comments into Google search. If the same comment appears at other websites, then it has most probably been written by shills. Many times the shills are lazy and they never write a new comment for the websites.

Another tip is if the comment has been used over and over, but with a different company name added. The comment will start off as a complaint about a company with a solution that soon follows.

You can check out the profile of the person or shill that has been posting on their social media networks. You should look to see if they are using stock pictures and if they have friends and recent activity. All of these tips will point to a true internet shill.

History of internet shills? 

Shills are not a new fad. In fact, shills have been around for centuries. The word “shills” actually comes from “shillaber”, and this word and phrase was first used by circus workers and troupers who would pretend to hurry up and buy all the tickets to the circus show following the speech from the circus master. The “real” customers would have this sense of urgency and they would rush to purchase the tickets. Open auctions are also a place where shills are found as they raise the prices on items on the auction to profit the owner and/or auction room.

TripAdvisor and shills

TripAdvisor are doing amazing work by weeding out internet shills and trolls. They are giving companies heavy penalties that are using these fraudulent techniques. If you think that any comment that you read on TripAdvisor that is left by a shill, then you should report the comment, and doing this will help companies that are getting their positive comments genuinely. This will stop scams from occurring and they will all be penalized for their fraudulent activities.

Have you noticed a rise in internet shills? Leave us a comment.


  1. Wow! I feel so naive. Honestly the internet is a breeding ground for scams. I’m glad that sites like TripAdvisor are doing their bit to stop these shills. It makes me wonder if human shills are planted at the sales, like Black Friday to get everyone in a frenzy to buy.


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