Have you been burned by a bad review of your services online? Surely it stings when it happens, and you want to do what you can to remedy them. But there is a two-step scam going around right now, first threatening photographers with cyber bullying through bad mouthing online reviews, and then (step 2) offering to help you with your online reputation and solve the newly posted bad reviews... when the scammers are actually the ones posting them!
The situation is spreading rapidly so be on the lookout. In a nutshell, don't panic--delete, flag and report the scammers. Baltimore photographer Kat Forder posted a perfect explanation on her blog (which was also picked up by Peta Pixel), along with some great suggestions on what you can do to protect yourself. Her suggestions on how to protect yourself are below, but the full read is highly recommended!
WHAT YOU CAN DO IN THE USA
- Don't respond to the emails!
- Set up a Google Alert for your business name
- Watch your business on a few different review sites and attempt to respond to the false reviews with a link to this post to educate potential readers, or by submitting "proof" to the review website
- Contact the Federal Trade Commission: via its toll free hotline: 877-FTC-HELP (877-382-4357) or the
- Contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation's
- Non-emergency number for your local police department to make them aware of the fraud (larger cities will have a cyber-crimes task force or department)
Again, Kat's full blog is worth a read to get a firm handle on the situation. Spread the word to your fellow photographers and make sure you don't fall victim to a scam like this! PPA's pushing the information out everywhere possible, including through paid alerts... but help us spread the word by sharing this #ScamAlert against #CyberBullying and #BadReviews. Thank you!