Lately I have been getting requests for professional ratings from people who have ostensibly joined a site called RateStars.com which apparently allows you to find out how that person is rated by a community of their peers. On the face of it this seems like a great idea and I can understand the psychological reasons why people would go for it. But here is the rub. Each and every person that has asked me to rate them is a stranger to me. We may well be connected on FB, LinkedIn or Twitter but that means nothing at all. So lesson number one is don’t ask somebody you honestly don’t know for a recommendation of any sort.
But the problem with RateStar is much deeper than that. Frankly, I couldn’t understand how RateStar was anything more or less than a popularity contest so went on a hunt to see if other people were as unsettled by it as I was. It smelled like a phising scam to me. And it does appear to be one after all.
I found a great article called “When the Conclusion Isn’t Supported by the Methodology (and why RateStars is utter nonsense)” by Kathryn Korostoff that pretty much explained my forebodings.
If you get an email that looks like the one below, delete it and remember that old maxim, “If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.”