Dozens of real estate agents in the St. Louis area recently received emails mentioning negative consumer reviews on a website and offering to resolve the complaints or remove the agents' names for a fee.
One of the agents called the Better Business Bureau, and when we looked into it, there were some suspicious things about the website. For one, there was no contact information or location listed when the site was registered on New Year's Day. For another, most of the so-called complaints were nearly identical.
Bill Raines, the information systems director at Coldwell Banker Gundaker, said 44 St. Louis area agents got the emails along with agents in Chicago and Minneapolis.
The BBB believes the website, www.realtor-complaints.com - is bogus. The site appears to be part of a scheme to extract money from agents concerned about their online reputation.
The BBB sees all kinds of scams that use the Internet to try to extract money from unsuspecting consumers as well as businesses. Before handing over any money or sensitive information, the BBB suggests checking out the website with the BBB. Our website has Business Reviews that can show whether a site has been the source or complaints or not. Consumers also can report suspicious sites to the state attorney general's office or the Federal Trade Commission.
To read more about this scam, read today's BBB press release.