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FAKE REVIEWS: More smelly catfish Vents for Dominique Grubisa and DGI

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Fake online reviews have sprung up in support of Dominique Grubisa (Screenshot via YouTube)

Self-professed finance and legal maven Dominique Grubisa always seems to have positive online reviews published immediately after receiving negative press. David Donovan reports on this odd phenomenon.

OUR STORIES on Dominique Grubisa on 28 October last year and 1 May this year exposed some very catfishy behaviour, with fake reviews and fake articles celebrating her dubious talents. IA’s investigation hit the mainstream with a segment on A Current Affair on 31 May.

Undeterred by these articles, Grubisa has since collected even more fishy articles, in what seems to be a methodical effort to restore her reputation.

Three days after the segment on ACA, our friends at a Dominican Republic online music publication, Vents Magazine, once again came dancing to the defence of Mrs Grubisa.

Despite residing in the Carribbean, in a recent article in Vents, author “Harris Shawn” claimed to have:

‘...attended many of her [Grubisa’s Australian] seminars on asset protection and buying distressed property.’

In an obvious reference to Channel Nine's ACA exposé, Shawn suggests negative commentary about Grubisa is part of some sort of endemic societal cyber abuse of women by:

‘...sexist, misogynistic, racist homophobic or transphobic people angry about the views of actions of specific individuals that are different to their own.’

Going all in, Mr Shawn says:

When you question the status quo and do things differently to perceived norms, you run the risk of attracting the attention of self interest groups who see you as a threat to their ability to control their piece of turf and their way of earning an income.

 

Rather than seeing it as healthy competition designed to improve service standards, it creates fear which then makes it easier to justify labelling someone like this a maverick, troublemaker or disruptor through dirty smear campaigns and one-sided narratives.

This sounds very much like the language of Elizabeth Holmes of the infamous Theranos fame.

Who is Harris Shawn? Well, according to Facebook, “Harris Shawn” is in fact, Ritushree Rout, who claims to live in Bhubaneswar, India.   

Perhaps the “Harris Shawn” name is derived from the much more real Shawn Harris, an engineer at Google.

On Facebook, the “Harris Shawn” profile promises instant guest posting on high authority sites:

But clearly, the reputation of Grubisa needed to be further repaired and another story featured on newsanyway.com, under the byline “Catherine”.

The owner of that website, Sam Allcock, from Manchester in the UK, has confirmed the story was in fact a guest post put forward by an intermediary via fiverr.com and not penned by Catherine.

Like many other authors of guest posts referring to Grubisa’s products, Catherine’s interests are diverse. Recent articles have included stories about a book on LGBT+ horror stories, dealing with anxiety caused by a traffic collision and the Al Humaidi Family Kuwait-Centric Business Innovation.

Allcock confirmed that Catherine had no direct knowledge of Grubisa’s products, yet she was quick to jump to her defence claiming that:

‘If you’ve done one of Dominique’s courses then you would know first-hand that she is a highly intelligent, thorough professional who has personally developed and put together some of the best course material out there on the market.’

Another questionable review come from the self-titled Queen of Reviews, Justine Caraway from Nashville, who said:

‘Coming out the other end of the DG Institute Real Estate Rescue program, all I can say is that it was more information than I expected, more valuable than I dreamed and more life-changing than Dominique Grubisa sold it to be.’

She went on to say:

‘For those who live interstate, it’s not really ideal to fly in for a few days, especially if you live far away. I thought it was kinda inconvenient and I heard some gripes about it. But once the seminar began, the value of being in person with Dominique was incalculable.’

She wrote that her own goals were to:

‘...start going through the RP Data program, looking for those deals that pop up in my area (I have to start somewhere).’

If travelling interstate was not ideal for a few days, one would think travelling from Nashville might be rather more inconvenient. Sadly, we doubt Ms Caraway will find too many deals popping up in her area off the RP Data (Australian) list.

Other questionable reviews come from websites productreviews2u.com, virtualpropertyincome.com and sydneypropertyinvestors.com which all remarkably contain no content, other than in each case, a review of products sold by DG Institute. All domain names were registered between 13 September and 16 September 2020.

One thinks the ACCC may have have an interest in the proliferation of fake reviews regarding Grubisa’s business.

As the ACCC says:

‘Businesses and review platforms that do not remove reviews that they know to be fake risk breaching the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.’

Follow Independent Australia founder and publisher Dave Donovan on Twitter @davrosz.

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