Monday, May 19, 2014


Yes, I have advised compliance officers that the proliferation of so-called reputation damage restoration firms, which pollute the Internet with fluff about their clients, to defeat your due diligence inquiry, has rendered your search engine activities problematic. It is becoming a real problem, and the companies involved are generally not people you want to meet in a dark alley.

 The most prominent "reputation restorer," who works in Caracas, served seven months in an American penal institution, for hacking into a Department of Defense website*, and was later deported, is Rafael Nuñez-Aponte, a/k/a/ RaFa, who specializes in cleaning up the negative information of corrupt Venezuelan PEPs. His "information laundering" activities are believed to be presently under active investigation by US law enforcement, who reportedly is looking at a number of prominent Venezuelans who are using his "services" to hide articles detailing their money laundering, drug trafficking, and other criminal activities.

Rafael Nuñez-Aponte
I offer my personal remedy to combat the effectiveness of reputation restoration firms. You need to become Professor Backwards, using the reverse of the commonly-employed techniques you are used to. Follow me on this:

(1) Since search engine reputation damage firms work on the theory that most compliance officers, knowing that the results are arranged by relevance, will not look past the first page or two, turn the tables on them. Start your search at the LAST PAGE of the search engine results you have displayed before you. The reputation management firm operates on the premise that it must clog the initial pages, with results that have a high relevance, go to the dead lat entry, and work backwards. Only then will you find that elusive negative entry about your target, that the damage restoration firm is trying so hard to find. The company cannot eliminate the negative information about its client, so they attempt to bury it, leaving the tail end open for your web exploration. Start at the end, and work towards the front. if there is any relevant negative web information, you will run right into it in your search, providing you use my strategy.

(2) Use a search engine that employs algorithms that searches primarily for negative information, not the names of the violators. I use Check for Risk, which avoids returning most of the Internet fluff and garbage placed there by the reputation damage firms. The Check for Risk logo at the top of the page will assist you, if you wish further information; simply click on the logo.

(3) If you have access to non-public information sources, it is humbly suggested that you contact them to verify the negative information you do retrieve. Always be able to show that your information has been verified by at least one additional source.

Use these techniques as a work-around, to get the negative information on your target, without getting lost in the maze of web pages created by the reputation restoration company.

* Nuñez-Aponte was also believed to have stolen national security information from a NASA computer, as well as taken proprietary information from private corporations' websites. A frequent visitor to Panama, he was part of the "dirty tricks" group of hackers hired by Panama's President Ricardo Martinelli.

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