ScamGuard is a free consumer protection website with user-generated content where anyone can publicly report scams, ripoffs, fraudulent, suspicious or deceitful activities of businesses and individuals. The process of submitting a complaint or scam report to Scamguard.com is relatively simple and users can remain anonymous.
ScamGuard does not investigate complaints reported to the site.
Scamguard.com is a website you can use to learn about businesses that are scamming people online. Anyone can make a report, and anyone can view reports made about any individual or company. When you submit a report to Scamguard, the post can reference any company, product, service or individual. Some of the most popular scams on Scamguard.com are:
Scamguard.com can provide helpful information to consumers and businesses about how to recognize and avoid scams.
Online defamation or cyber libel refers to a written (online) statement that involves a false statement of fact that injures the reputation of another. Truthful statements that damage the reputation of another will not create liability for online defamation.
For example, if your company has been found guilty of unreasonable restraint of trade, a comment on Scamguard.com that your company is a monopoly crushing small local businesses would probably not be defamation as a matter of law, even though the statement might damage your company’s reputation.
Examples of damages as a result of online defamation include reputational harm, a decline in a public company’s stock price, loss of employee morale, reduced consumer confidence, emotional distress for the victims and their families, and of course, financial losses.
ScamGuard has a Defamation Clause in their FAQs that states: “Under no circumstances does ScamGuard allow anyone to post defamatory or false information. ScamGuard may share full user information as part of a defamation complaint if required by the court or a subpoena.”
On Scamguard.com, companies and individuals can respond to scams reported by ScamGuard users. However, in an unfortunate paradox for businesses, the more content, and user engagement on a particular page, the more visible the page will be in online search results.
Members are not able to remove complaints on ScamGuard. Even if the company is able to resolve the complaint to the satisfaction of the customer, the review will remain on the Website and be available to anyone searching for you or your company on Google and other search engines. The complaint will be marked “Resolved” but the damage to your business reputation may linger for a very long time.
In order to remove a false or defamatory complaint from Scamguard.com, and the original poster doesn’t disclose his or her real name, the business owner must file a lawsuit to identify the individual so that he or she can be held accountable.
The original intention of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) was to protect young Internet users from sexually explicit content. However, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act protects websites from legal liability for the comments of their users.
Section 230 has helped the Internet grow and expand the universe of websites available for users to post useful information online. For example, Facebook, YouTube and other sites would not exist if not for the broad immunity afforded by the CDA.
It also means there are websites that exist for people to post negative reviews, hateful speech, cyberbullying and online harassment — and the websites are protected from liability for the content posted by others.
When someone posts content on Scamguard.com, they can only use your copyrighted content if it is considered Fair Use. Fair use is a doctrine of U.S. copyright law that permits the use of a copyrighted work without permission from the copyright holder under certain specific circumstances.
Commentary and criticism are all examples of activities that could qualify as fair use, which is why it is very difficult to assert a successful copyright claim against a website like Scamguard.com or its users for content to which you may have a copyright interest. For example, the use of a company logo or a screenshot from a company website may be protected by copyright, but would likely be able to be used by Scamguard.com under the Fair Use doctrine.
A DMCA takedown notification can be used to remove posts from Scamguard.com that violate copyright law. Upon receipt of a DMCA-compliant notice of an infringement, the Scamguard.com must “expeditiously” remove or block access to the allegedly infringing material. This can be the full post or a portion of the post that is alleged to have been infringed.
Although Scamguard.com can submit a counternotice, challenging the basis for the removal, most complaint sites will not.
To submit a DMCA takedown notice, you will need to send a written letter to the DMCA Designated Agent for Scamguard.com.
There are several ways to remove a post on Scamguard.com. If there is no legal basis to assert a copyright claim and the individual or company who is subject to a defamatory post declines to pursue legal action against the individual(s) who posted the original report, there are other options for removal.
Users who posted a complaint on Scamguard.com are able to submit removal requests via email for any complaints they created. The removal request must be sent from the email address associated with the user’s account.
You can also consider working with an online reputation management company. Reputation Rhino can eliminate the impact of damaging reviews and other negative content.
Scamguard is a website that invites anonymous consumers to report scams, deceptive practices, and ripoffs. The accused individuals and businesses are expressly named, making Scamguard a concern for anyone attempting to improve or maintain their online reputation. Scams are a real problem, with older Americans losing nearly $3B every year according to the Senate Special Committee on Aging, but sites like Scamguard are not saving vulnerable populations from fraud. Instead, they are often being misused as weapons to damage the reputation of companies by disgruntled current and former employees, competitors, and rivals.
An email request may be submitted to Scamguard, asking them to remove a complaint. This request must come from the person who posted the review. Scamguard will not investigate claims about fake reviews, but they say they will cooperate with other agencies investigating fraud. In accordance with Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, they assume no responsibility for anything posted on the website. Short of a court order or lawsuit, Scamguard will not respond to businesses asking that false complaints about them be removed.
As with all false claims on the internet, your most direct course of action will be to contact the reviewer and request that the complaint is taken down. A Scamguard.com complaint can only be removed by the person who posted it, with an official email request. Otherwise, it can merely be flagged as Resolved (and will still appear in search results). An online reputation management company can help you navigate the email process, as well as other avenues for removal, like libel/defamation, copyright infringement, and court orders.
In many cases, we recommend that you reply to negative reviews in order to publicly resolve the issue and raise your business profile online. Consumer protection websites like Scamguard are a bit different. The more you engage with a false complaint, the higher it will rise in Google search results, and Google has control over 92% of all online search traffic. That’s why removal or suppression is the best option when it comes to Scamguard. A Scamguard removal specialist at a reputation management firm can assist you.