The return email address for Sara was:Â Sara Williams <email@example.com>
At first, you read the email thinking you might have a lead, but then it starts to become clear that the email is a scam. Â Click on the link and it goes to what appears to be a complaint about me - but my name is clearly taken from an old data base as I don't use my formal name like that nor have I been affiliated with the brokerage listed for many years. Anyways, if you click on the choices to either respond or erase, you are taken to a paypal page to PAY $49 or $99 dollars to respond or get the complaint removed. NO CHANCE that is happening. So I contacted the California Association of Realtors to make them aware and hopefully something can be done to shut it down. WIth responses on this blog coming from across the nation, I will also go to NAR.
I just wanted post this here to help spread the awareness that review extortion is here!
UPDATED NOTE: as of 1/14/2013 at approximately 10 am PST, the above link appears to have been taken down. YAY!! But here is the webpage itself- Â http://www.realtor-complaints.comÂ . The remove complaint tab on the webpage has been disabled as well. Such a shame as they were having a half-off special through January 15th!
ADDITIONAL UPDATE: KUDOS TO RE/MAX for jumping on this and taking steps to protect fellow agents across the nation from this extortion scheme. If you read below, you will see not only did the scheme victimize individual agents, but it perpetrated an entire company (RE/MAX). No one is immune to internet scams and they keep getting more complicated and appearing more and more legit. The ads referred to in this blog that were on this bogus site were linked to actual RE/MAX sites - how can someone be able to tell what is real anymore?
LATEST UPDATE - as of 1/17/2013 at 9 am, site is still up with operational ads...have to wonder why it hasn't been shut down. AND have to be concerned that someone with access to servers outside the country can set up shop like this with total impunity.