Ripoff Report Strikes Back: Removes Code on Site Left by Hacker

The Ripoff Report has struck back against the so-called reputation management companies that claim to be able to remove posts about companies on the RipoffReport.com website. In a recent press release, Ripoff Report claims that they have removed code on their website that was left by a hacker hired by reputation management companies.


A sample advertisement claiming Ripoff Report removal is shown above.

Ripoff Report explained what happened.

“Earlier this year, a hacker, promising his customers “reputation management” services, had embedded code into the website to prevent search engines from recognizing certain postings. In some cases, website visitors were misdirected to a false message stating that the posting had been redacted.”

Although the press release itself offers no specific proof of the fact that malicious code had been embedded onto the RipoffReport.com website, I am personally not surprised that something like this was done by a hacker. There are a lot of companies out there that would like negative reviews of their products or services removed from the Ripoff Report website. From what I can tell, the website only really exists in order to report negatives about a business, company, or individual. So, naturally, a website like that would have enemies.


Another sample advertisement claiming Ripoff Report removal is shown above.

If you search at Google for “remove ripoff report”, or a similar phrase related to getting a Ripoff Report removed, there are a lot of reputation management companies that claim that they can get a listing removed from the RipoffReport.com website. And some will even charge thousands of dollars to get the report removed from the website.

Currently, however, according to RipoffReport.com, there is no way to completely get a negative review or negative post removed from the website. There is a way to respond with a rebuttal. The company says that “Once a company has been named in a consumer’s report, the company may respond by posting a rebuttal. Both reports and rebuttals are posted free of charge, and once submitted they are not removed. Before a report may be submitted, users are required to create an account by providing a valid email address and warrant that any report submitted is truthful and accurate.”

If a search for your company name or your personal name in Google reveals a RipoffReport.com listing, you have a few options:

– Respond by posting a rebuttal.
– Hire a company or individual who has online reputation management experience that can help bring more positive web pages about your company towards the top of the search results. By emphasizing the positive, the hope is that the negatives are pushed down.

I recommend that you stay away form any companies that claim they can completely remove postings from RipoffReport.com, as that does not appear to be the case.

In a related story, you might recall that recently Ripoff Report removed themselves from Google, which was apparently only a mistake by the company. In one of my recent blog posts, I examined how removing your website from Google can help–or hurt–your search engine rankings.

Comments

  1. Jack says

    The problem with Rip-Off-Report is that it’s an unverifiable slanderer of businesses, both good and bad. The Communications & Decency Act provides protection for the format because the website isn’t doing the actual posting. However, the website is formatting the title tags to say “Rip-Offf Report: Your Business Name Here”, which is their responsibility and is libel no matter if it’s the name of the website or not. Why no one has gone after them for this is beyond me. If I started a site called “Rapes Puppies” and wrote pages about celebrities with the title tag format “Celebrity Name Here | Rapes Puppies”, there’s no real question what the intent is.

    So why is it an issue? Because anyone can slander you on Rip Off Report and your name is soiled as soon as it ranks on the first page above the fold, whether you deserved it or not. If you fired a constantly delinquent employee, gave solid customer service that most reasonable customers would accept but one does not or simply have scrupulous competitors, ROR can hurt you undeservedly. Filing a “rebuttal” is a joke. People don’t need to read the actual page and most won’t. All they need to see is your name or business name next to the words “Rip Off” and the damage is done. And consider this…What if there are two companies, A and B. “Company A” handles 10,000 orders annually and has one high ranking rip off report. That’s one complaint in 10,000 transactions. “Company B” handles 100 orders annually and also has 1 high ranking rip off report. Even though “Company A” has a far more stellar customer service record that almost any retailer would give their right arm for, it looks just as bad as to the consumer as “Company B” which doesn’t even have a great customer service record by Ebay standards.

    So for all those out there who think ROR isn’t a dangerous site, think again. Anyone can slander you personally or professionally there and there’s really no recourse whatsoever unless you want to go to court. If you do…the title tags are the key to winning your case.

    P.S. Ever notice how Google’s biggest advertisers ROR reports never seem to find a place in the top 100, even being out-ranked by almost new pages that casually mention the buisiness name with no PR? Take a close look at Zales or Blue Nile…two of Google’s cash cows. Seems kinda funny, doesn’t it?

  2. Thomas Scharrer says

    Ed Magedson and his Attorney David Gingras attempted to extort 50,000.00 from the company I work for just the other day. The was a posting from a poster publically broadcasted information from a sealed court matter and Ed and his attorney refused to honor the court order and instead tried to extort 50K plus a mainteance fee from the owner of the company. Our Private Investigative firm is going to subpoena Xcentric Ventures LLC for the identity of the poster and sue Ed and his attorney for the extortion plot. We are very dilligent investigators and we are in the same state as Ed. We hope to help put an end to this man scamming the public.