FROM RUSSIA, WITH REPUTATION FRAUD

FROM RUSSIA… WITH REPUTATION FRAUD

So, you think the Cold War ended in 1991? Think again. This time it’s not the Soviet government going after the West, it’s Russian web scammers who go by the names of scaminformer.com, scamfraudripoff.com, complaintsboard.com and many, many others. Like Internet Whack-A-Mole, every time one of them gets caught, they anonymously start another website.

The Internet community is fighting back, as are courts AROUND THE WORLD, but more and more people are getting scammed every day. These criminals outright COPY AND STEAL reports directly from ripoffreport.com, and post them on their own websites.  Some of them THEN contact the owners of companies mentioned and blackmail them into paying saying they’ll take DOWN ALL REPORTS.

But they don’t. And they can’t.

So why should you care?  At a very basic level, it may appear that consumer complaints should get as much exposure as possible.  And we don’t disagree with that.  But consumers choose Ripoff Report as their forum because we have a 14-year track record of protecting the consumer.  We don’t take down posts for money, we don’t cower to bullies who threaten or file lawsuits and we do offer the Ripoff Report Arbitration program to address false statements and the Corporate Advocacy Program to help businesses improve their customer service.

The Russian imitations, on the other hand, care only about making a quick ruble. They care nothing about the real cause.  These thieves steal reports to start their own fake versions of Ripoff Report. By doing that, they undercut our power to help consumers!

We’ve already won lawsuits against them and their websites are coming down soon. BUT BEWARE there’ll be more soon under new names. As long as people keep visiting their websites, they’ll keep it going.  It’s not just a problem for us, but for the entire internet community. Google, consumer websites, law enforcement and even the media are all fighting this NEW international scourge. Always depend on the real American leading consumer advocacy service on the Internet – 14 years and still going strong!

REMEMBER: Scaminformer.com, scamfraudripoff.com, and complaintsboard.com are NOT legit. They will not and cannot help you. They can only TAKE YOUR MONEY.  On the other hand, if you’re just looking to help the Russian underground economy…

FACT—Russian criminals are stealing reports from www.RipoffReport.com and then using them to extort money from victims in the United States.

FACT—Ripoff Report has already won several lawsuits against these criminals, and more lawsuits are pending.

FACT—Many of Ripoff Report’s competitors are involved in these scams.

As one of the first and oldest consumer complaint sites, Ripoff Report has spent millions of dollars and more than a decade helping to empower consumers by giving them a highly-visible platform where they can share their stories with the world.  Since 1998, our vision has always been the same—we want to help increase customer satisfaction by allowing business owners to see exactly what their customers are saying so that problems and complaints can be addressed quickly and fairly.  In this way, our goal is to benefit both customers and business owners.

Unfortunately, in the last several years we have discovered a very disturbing trend—many competing websites have been created which appear to be dedicated to the same goals as Ripoff Report, but when you look closer the story is very different…and very disturbing.  Many of these sites are based overseas (many in Russia), and many are operated by shadowy figures with names that change from week to week.  Many of these sites are actually little more than extortion factories.

Their game works like this: 1.) they begin by stealing thousands of pages of reports and other original content from www.RipoffReport.com (they sometimes even copy our Terms of Service!); 2.) they extort money from business owner by demanding money to remove the reports.   These sites don’t care anything about helping consumers; they only care about one thing—money.

The worst violator is www.Scaminformer.com.   This site was created in January 2011, and when it first went online, the site contained literally tens of thousands of pages of content illegally copied from www.RipoffReport.com.  In fact, not only did the site steal massive amounts of content from us, they even removed our copyright ownership information (which is a violation of federal law) and they also backdated every posting by 24 hours in an attempt to make it look like the material was originally posted on their site.

Ripoff Report immediately filed a federal lawsuit against www.Scaminformer.com.  You can read a copy of our Original Complaint here.

Because www.Scaminformer.com isn’t a legitimate site, they failed to appear in court and we were awarded a $100,000 judgment against them.  Furthermore, the federal court issued an injunction requiring them to remove all of the material they had stolen, and to immediately stop copying material from www.RipoffReport.com.  You can read a copy of the Judgment and Injunction here.

Unfortunately, after the judgment and injunction was entered, rather than stopping its criminal conduct, www.Scaminformer.com did exactly what all scammers do—they simply transferred the site to a new owner—Eugene Selihov (also located in Russia) who now claims that he’s not stealing content from Ripoff Report and he has no idea how thousands and thousands of pages of new reports copied from www.RipoffReport.com have appeared on his website.

You can read our Amended Complaint against www.Scaminformer.com’s “new” owner Eugene Selihov here.

Sadly, this is not the only instance of other websites stealing content from Ripoff Report.  Another serious/repeat violator is www.ComplaintsBoard.com.  We sued that site in 2008 for stealing huge amounts of material from the Ripoff Report.  You can read our Original Complaint here.

We determined that the owner of www.ComplaintsBoard.com was actually located in eastern Europe, but they didn’t bother to show up in court.  As a result, we were awarded a $60,000 default judgment and permanent injunction.  We were later awarded an even larger amount for legal fees and collection expenses.

But once again, this didn’t stop the criminals from continuing to unlawfully copy material from our site; they simply transferred ownership to a new company so they could try to argue that our injunction doesn’t apply to them.  As such, we recently filed another lawsuit against the new owner of www.ComplaintsBoard.com, and you can read a copy this new lawsuit here.

Incredibly, these aren’t the only examples.  In 2008 we also sued yet another so-called consumer reporting website—www.PissedConsumer.com—based on their copying of thousands of pages of content from the Ripoff Report website.  You can read a copy of lawsuit against PissedConsumer here.  The owners of PissedConsumer eventually realized that it was illegal to steal material from our website, so they agreed to the entry of a permanent injunction which required them to stop this practice.  You can view a copy of the injunction here.

So, what’s the point of all this?  Simple—www.RipoffReport.com is not only one of the first and largest consumer complaint websites on the Internet, we are one of the few websites who are truly devoted to helping consumers while also assisting business owners who want to increase their sales by resolving customer complaints quickly and fairly.

Unlike many of our competitors, we are not based in Russia.   We are located in the United States, and as an American-based company, we respect and comply with all U.S. laws (you can’t say the same for our competitors).  Most importantly—we don’t take reports down for money and we don’t steal content from other sites.  Never have, never will.

REMEMBER: Ripoff Report cares about one thing—helping consumers!  Our competitors don’t care about that….they only care about TAKING MONEY from victims so they can HIDE REPORTS (reports which they probably stole from Ripoff Report in the first place).  Keep that in mind next time you’re thinking about posting a complaint on any site other than www.RipoffReport.com.

 

 

 

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This blog is about issues that are important to ME and that I want to share with my friends, colleagues and the public. If you want to comment on the issue at hand, please do. Please keep in mind that THIS IS NOT THE PLACE to bring up specific ripoffreport.com reports. If you have a specific issue please email EDitor@ripoffreport.com.

5 Responses to FROM RUSSIA, WITH REPUTATION FRAUD

  1. Lanson says:

    You sir, are an inspiration. I’m currently a junior at the UofA, working on a BA in psych followed by law school. I decided to become a lawyer when I was repeatedly accused of crimes I had nothing to do with, and then lost over $30,000 in less than 6 months paying for a lawyer who didn’t do much and legal fees I didn’t deserve. I wanted to be able to defend anyone else who got stuck in that kind of situation. It’s been over 6 years and I am still in massive debt, but I continue on one day at a time. Reading your story just hit me close to home, it is nice to see there are still good people out there who actually want to help others without a hidden agenda. I hope you have a great day.

  2. ToTheGoodFight says:

    To Lanson, my first thought after reading your post is you should put up a website and dedicate it to combating lawyer fraud. I read too many stories where people are just taken for a ride and the lawyers take the money. Maybe have a map of the states on the website where people could click on to see or file complaints against lawyers in their state. But, then again, would you be up against this evil element in our society that would ban you, and then you’d have more problems?
    I’m telling everyone I know about this site for the people.

  3. Carte R4 says:

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