NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 01/30/13 -- The online scam is one of the true hallmarks of the Internet -- but according to a recent report from The Next Web, online consumers are increasingly wary of even the slightest hint of online fraud. The article notes that scam artists are continually looking for new ways to dupe innocent consumers, but that Web users, in turn, are constantly becoming more sophisticated, and more averse to doing business with companies or online merchants whose names have become associated with disreputable activity. This is ultimately a promising and encouraging report for online consumers, but not for businesses that have been unfairly maligned as fraudulent or dishonest. The report has captured the attention of Reputation Changer, which has weighed in with a new comment to the press -- and according to the statement from Reputation Changer, scam allegations, even when they are false, still have the capacity to dismantle an entire business.
"This is an area in which online reputation management is absolutely essential for businesses and brands," remarks Michael Zammuto, who serves as the President and COO of Reputation Changer. "Consumers are becoming more and more prone to conducting Google searches, and consulting with online reviews, before making any big purchases -- and if the first thing they see is a report that your business is a scam operation, or that it is in any way fraudulent, you are bound to start losing customers in a hurry."
Zammuto offers an example of what he is talking about. "We have dealt with clients who have run perfectly reputable, upstanding businesses, providing terrific products and services to their clients," he explains. "Then, one customer comes along who is dissatisfied, for whatever reason, and he takes to the Web and announces that the client's company is just a scam. Obviously, this is going to be bad for business. Clients will jump ship, sales will plummet, and in the end it can all but sink an entire company."
Zammuto cautions businesses that, no matter how honest or reputable their operations may be, they can still be accused of wrongdoing. "Even a totally false and unverified scam allegation can do huge damage," he cautions. "And these fake scam reports can be planted by unreasonable consumers, by disgruntled employees, by former staff members, and even by business rivals."
Zammuto warns businesses and brands that, because online scam listings can happen at any time, constant vigilance is necessary. "Unfortunately, no business is totally safe from this kind of online defamation, which is why reputation management should be on every company's radar," he advises. "You cannot stop online defamation, but, through careful reputation monitoring, you can be alert to it the minute it happens, and take necessary action to address it." To this end, Zammuto recommends that companies set up Google alerts, and also that they peruse online review portals, like Yelp.com, on a regular basis.
Zammuto goes on to say that, when defamation does happen, companies are far from powerless against it. "A professional reputation defense firm can implement strategies and technologies that will restore a company's name to a place of respectability," he explains. "We cannot wave a wand and make those defamatory listings disappear, but we can bury them, making them non-issues -- and ultimately, we can help our clients to make strong first impressions with online consumers."
Reputation Changer was founded in 2009 by a group of digital marketing experts. The firm rapidly grew into the world's foremost online reputation management and monitoring company; now, Reputation Changer provides an array of services in brand enhancement and negative review suppression, to a client base that includes Fortune 500 companies, small businesses, and individuals. At Reputation Changer, scam reports, online complaints, and negative reviews are regarded as grave threats to the client's reputation, and as such they are responded to promptly and effectively.
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