An Auckland computer repairs store has raked in five-star reviews - but they weren't written by customers.

Six people have confirmed their email accounts were used to write fake reviews for CER Computers.

Catherine Xu handed her laptop and password over to CER Computers' Mt Albert branch two weeks ago to have her cracked screen repaired.

After picking up the fixed laptop, Xu said she received an automated email thanking her for her latest Google Plus review.


"I was really confused. I hadn't left any reviews, so I went on to their Google Plus page and saw this review under my name."

It read: "Very efficient - in three days my laptop has been repaired. I have searched for the least expensive repair for my Macbook Air until I found this repair shop."

The 19-year-old sent a text to the owner of CER Computers, who told her they had been hacked.

"I said, 'But if that was true, why was my name and my account being used?' I felt like they'd violated my privacy, because I trusted them to fix my laptop, not to snoop."

Shyam Maharaj, 22, was "really angry" to learn his name was used to give a false review.

Maharaj took his iPhone to the Mt Albert store four months ago to have a cracked screen repaired - ironically, because of positive reviews online.

Maharaj said he was concerned CER Computers might still have access to his Gmail account.

"I feel violated, I feel like I've lost my privacy ... What else have they looked at on my phone?"

Elise Pennington's name also accompanied a five-star review - but she had never heard of the company.

Catherine Xu was alerted to the fake review by an email from Google Plus thanking her for it.
Catherine Xu was alerted to the fake review by an email from Google Plus thanking her for it.

The 26-year-old wants to know how CER Computers obtained her personal information.

"If they still have access to my emails, I definitely would not be excited about that."

CER Computers owner Al-Huseiny Ibrahim said the false reviews had come to his attention in the past week.

"No, of course we are not writing them. My theory is that it is students doing it, we have them come in from time to time for training at the shop."

Ibrahim said the students came from AUT and Unitec, but he could not contact them as they "don't keep their data".

"There were a few not happy with me; they damaged my tools so I kicked them out. I suspect it was one of them."

He said he was taking the complaints seriously and he would investigate how the reviews appeared on Google Plus.

"I think it's impossible to hack ... I have strict policies and nothing's ever happened in my company like this before."

Ibrahim said he would make sure it did not happen again.

"We have no access to personal data and I will be upset if anyone in my company is accessing personal information."

An AUT spokeswoman said they found no links in their records to students working at CER Computers.

Consumer NZ spokeswoman Jessica Wilson said if a company was accessing customers' emails to write fake reviews, it risked breaching the Fair Trading Act and Privacy Act, as well as the Crimes Act.

"The Fair Trading Act prevents traders from making false or misleading representations. This includes posting fake reviews."

Wilson said companies risked being fined up to $600,000 for breaching the act.