"It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently." -Warren Buffett
Every day, brokers find themselves being listed on sites like
These are all sites run by attorneys looking to find business representing people who’ve been wronged by a broker.
The problem is that the pages are filled with allegations and very few actually litigated cases. If you find your name on one of these sites, it can be painful and surprising, but there is something you can do about it!
These law offices troll through records from the SEC and other public records sources looking for brokers who have been accused of impropriety. They couch their listings in phrases like “pending customer dispute” and “alleged” to avoid affirming that a wrong has actually been committed. They are even willing to throw other sites under a bus by saying “according to his BrokerCheck record accessed on.”
In one recent case, a broker with 17 years’ experience, licenses in 5 states, 4 exams passed, and a history of having worked for some of the biggest firms in the country has a `pending” complaint. In short, someone is upset about something, but nothing has been proven. These law offices list these accusations in the hopes of finding clients that want to file a lawsuit.
To make matters even worse, the listings include the broker’s CRD number, as well as that of his or her employer. To the average reader, this implies that the entire firm might have been in on inappropriate conduct.
They are simply playing on investors’ fears and anger.
Investing is risky. Everyone who has ever seen a TV commercial for investment has heard the warnings.
When someone loses money in an investment, they’re looking for someone to blame.
Like a lawsuit, anyone can file a complaint anytime. That doesn’t mean it’s going to go anywhere or that there’s any truth to it.
In the meantime, his or her reputation is being sullied by unproven allegations on the internet that show up as a part of a normal Google search.
There are some factors about the internet that make a terrible place to be accused of anything.
1. As in this case, only one side of the story is out there. The very nature of investments is there is a risk.
2. Almost everything on the internet is forever. Google might show a posting that isn't there any longer. This can take weeks to months to fall off as the Google bots begin to realize that the page has been deleted.
3. Most consumers won’t dig a lot deeper into your information unless they already know you or are already working with you. One bad review might be enough to turn off potential clients. That’s why getting this taken down as soon as possible is imperative.
4. A negative posting might lead to a series of frivolous lawsuits that you have to deal with and pay for. In fact, that’s exactly what these attorneys are counting on. They want to make it more expensive to defend yourself than it is to settle the claims. Even when covered by an out-of-court settlement, the attorneys will get their fees and the client will get cash, even if the broker didn’t do anything wrong. If these attorneys can bury you in lawsuits, you’re more likely to want to settle than fight. They’re counting on it.
While some brokers break the law, most brokers act in good faith; they simply have clients who lost money.
A listing on these sites will often show up in the top three listings on Google by virtue of how many postings they do each day. The headlines imply that the broker has already been convicted of a crime or defrauding their clients.
The answer is simple: You need a team that specializes in internet defamation and reputation management.
A team of attorneys that understand how to move quickly and work to get these accusations removed immediately. Because these are not litigated accusations and the plaintiff hasn't proven that they were wronged, these postings are not legitimate. They intentionally mislead unsuspecting, upset investors by giving them a scapegoat for their losses.
Your attorneys send a cease and desist letter outlining the impropriety of these postings and to remove them immediately.
As with any other accused in the United States, brokers deserve a presumption of innocence until proven guilty. While these carefully worded postings are factual, they imply that the broker has been found guilty or is untrustworthy.
If the site doesn’t remove the inflammatory information quickly, you’re able to take them to court and force them to prove the claim to be factual. Again, since it’s an accusation, not a conviction, so it’s defamatory to post this information.
While our attorneys are hard at work getting these slanderous postings removed, the reputation management team works on moving that information away from the front page. This allows our team to clean your reputation even as the legal side is moving through.
There is a lot that you can do to move negative postings downward on Google where they’re harder to find. Using the powerful techniques of reputation management, we’re able to rehabilitate your reputation, most particularly if there is a single incident to recover from.
Reputation management isn’t just about this type of case. There are millions of cases of defamation that need to be corrected. It’s a multi-pronged approach that includes blogs, articles, press releases, videos, social media, and more.
It’s a long game that requires a lot of activity and effort. We put up postings that counter the negative data. In other words, positive truth can overcome negative information.
The share of brokers with multiple counts of misconduct
Data collected from July 23-August 5, 2019
If you’ve spent years working hard to deliver great service and value to your clients being listed in a way that implies that you’ve done something wrong is painful. We know that.
That’s why when you call us, we move immediately to get everything taken down and your reputation restored.
Every professional that is accused of something inappropriate or illegal should have the chance to prove their innocence before being maligned by an attorneys’ office that’s simply looking to drum up clients. By preying on the fears of people who’ve lost money in investments they’re ruthlessly re injuring people.
We seek to put your reputation back where it belongs. And if you’ve been convicted, we work to put you right after you’ve “paid your debt to society.”
Get a team that knows how to put things right, fast. Your business deserves it.