This is the first of a yearlong series by TABB Solutions on Liars, Cheats and Thieves. These are the predators that prey primarily on small business owners. It may start with an email, or a phone call, and it ends up costing you time, aggravation, reputation, money and more.
Liars, Cheats and Thieves by TABB Solutions
The sad reality is the world is full of liars, cheats and thieves.
TABB Solutions knows that one very big one is run by a fellow named Ed Magedson. He runs a “company” called Xcentric Ventures, LLC. Perhaps you have heard of them. It’s more commonly known as;
Per Wikipedia – Ripoff Report allows users (who self-verify) over the age of 14 to post free, un-moderated and uncorroborated complaints known as ‘reports’ which contain details of the user’s experience with the company or individual listed in the report. The site requires users to create an account which includes an unconfirmed email address before reports can be submitted.
And that explains everything. The email is unverified. So it is completely anonymous.
Why is this dangerous?
It allows former employers, ex-employees, ex-wives and ex-husbands, business associates, competitors, scorned lovers and anyone else free reign to post anonymously, with the hopes of destroying someone or something, since Google lists these reports (now totaling over one million posts indexed by Google).
TABB Solutions got bit.
Back in 2013, there was a fellow that had a job as a consultant and moonlighted with his own company doing something else entirely. That person was the most knowledgeable, 2nd most experienced, and best salesman at the company, bar none. I know because I worked there.
As he became more aware of company practices, he parted ways with the company, and went full time with his own gig. They were devastated. It shook every employee in the company, through every office around the country. This was the managements “go-to-guy.” Open an office 8 states away? Send him. Start a new division in the company? Pick him.
It set shockwaves through the company, and just a short time later, he had a ripoff report filed, obviously from his ex-employer, as it was common practice for the owners to slur ex-employees on the net.
But it’s not just TABB Solutions, because there are more than a million other “reports” all sitting and waiting for you to Google a person or a business.
The real problem.
Again, from Wikipedia – The Ripoff Report website claims that its stated policy is to refuse to remove reports. Ripoff Report states that it does not allow authors to remove their own reports, even in cases where a mistake has been made.
Yet Xcentric Ventures has started a few other businesses. With names like Corporate Advocacy and Remediation Program, and VIP Arbitration. Now Ed Magedson charges you hefty fees, to at best, redact but not remove, the original “report”.
Adam Tanner at Forbes, reported in 2013, that the “corporate advocacy” program ranges from $5,500.00 and can exceed $100,000.00, third-party arbitration starts at $2000.00.
All because someone with a fake name and a fake email can easily harass and slander a person or a company totally undercover. Since you can’t take ripoff report to court, and you can’t identify the person slandering you and Google will only remove a listing under a court order….
Get the picture?
If you Google “ripoff report” it won’t take you long to find another cottage industry that has taken off.
It’s not uncommon for a business owner to get a call demanding “a refund”, for an amount generally between $1500 – $1800. Keep in mind, they never purchased a product or service, they just want $1800 or they will file a ripoff report on you. This is because it takes at least $2000 for Ripoff Report to “look into it” so they attempt to extort you for an amount just far enough under $2000 to get you to bite. The sad thing is they do take a few minutes and file a fake negative “report” on your business if you don’t pay.
But scorned lovers and extortionists aside, the biggest slice of the pie is competitors attempting to blacken the eye of a business owner on Google.
Ripoff report is a haven for liars, cheats and thieves.
Onward and upward to the 2nd report on Fake Online Reviews