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Reputation Changer: Scam Allegations, Fake Reviews Can Prove Catastrophic for Businesses

Online Scams and Fake Reviews Are Both Ever-Present Threats -- Not Just to Consumers, but Also to Businesses; As Such, More and More Brands Are Turning to the Services Offered by Reputation Changer

NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 09/17/12 -- The Internet is rich with opportunities, both for brands and for consumers. Social media sites allow businesses to share news about their products and directly engage interested customers, while review sites and online search engines make it easy for consumers to locate information about different products and services. According to a recent blog entry from CIO, however, the Internet may be as rife with threats as it is with opportunities. The blog notes that both online scams and fake, misleading online reviews are growing increasingly prevalent and they pose huge risks to consumers and to brands alike. The report has won the attention of Reputation Changer.

CIO notes that online scams are plentiful and often come in the form of "free" trial offers; according to the report, these free trials often end up having numerous strings attached, and are anything but free to the consumer. Meanwhile, the report notes that many companies are engaging in duplicitous online review activities, penning fake reviews on sites like Amazon.com.

The report has won the attention of industry-leading reputation defense firm Reputation Changer; the company has responded in a press statement. "These two trends may initially seem to be somewhat unrelated, but together, they make a broad, important point," says company CEO Cliff Stein. "They indicate that it's a jungle out there, in the online world, and there are ample pitfalls -- not just for the consumer, but for businesses, as well."

Stein addresses the issue of online scams first. "At Reputation Changer, scam allegations are taken extremely seriously," he remarks. "This article does us all a service by reminding us that online scams are very real. However, there is a flipside to that coin, which is that many companies are falsely, misleadingly, even shamelessly accused of being scams, when in fact they are perfectly honest and legitimate."

This is simply a facet of doing business in the online age, says Stein. "People can say whatever they want to say on the Web, whether it's true or not," he explains. "What this means is that companies are constantly finding themselves subjected to allegations of wrongdoing, by disgruntled consumers or maybe even angry ex-employees. These scam allegations may have no foundation in reality, but they can still prove disastrous to sales."

At Reputation Changer, scam reports are given considerable weight, but so are online reviews. "The other half of the article deals with false online reviews," Stein explains. "Again, there are two sides to the coin. On the one hand, businesses sometimes write false reviews that mislead consumers. At the same time, businesses can find themselves subjected to false, negative reviews, which ultimately lead to lost sales and lost clients. Like scam allegations, false, negative reviews can end with ruin."

Stein says that either scam allegations or bad reviews can impact brands immensely, but there are methods they can implement to protect their online identities. "Reputation Changer is devoted to the idea that companies and individuals have every right to control what is said about them online, and that no brand should be powerless against online defamation," says Stein. "We offer a range of services, including custom-designed reputation management packages, to companies wishing to combat bad online press or negative reviews."

He explains that Reputation Changer's methods hinge on suppression. "We cannot prevent people from writing nasty things about a company, but we can offer the next best thing," notes Stein. "We can minimize the damage done by trying to push those negative listings off the first page of an online search, replacing them with content that helps your brand to shine."

ABOUT:

Reputation Changer was founded in 2009 by an elite team of online marketing and sales professionals, united by their desire to give companies and individuals control over how they are presented online. Now joined by social media experts, SEO technicians, content writers, and account executives, Reputation Changer is widely heralded as the #1 reputation management agency in the world. The company renders its services to clients all over the world.

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