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Consumer Alert: Avoid MyBizCard

May 07 2013

mistake mirrorEvery now and then, a product comes along that seems to provide a great resource for real estate. Then everything goes horribly wrong. You push the wrong button and a series of events is set in place that you cannot control. This happens a lot with apps and social networking.

There is a service called MyBizCard. It promises to help you with "ratings and reviews from your peers that shows how awesome you are." Every agent wants that. Moreover, it is free! BE VERY CAREFUL, IT IS A VIRUS.

Free is the first flag.

"Ready for you in under 5 seconds. Try it now."

That is the second flag. The service asks you to sign in with your LinkedIn profile. When you do, it provides the app with the following:

  • Your full profile, including experience, education, skills, and recommendations
  • Your email address
  • Your connections – your first and second degree connections. That is everyone you are connected with on LinkedIn, along with everyone they are connected to.
  • Your contact information – address, phone number and bound accounts.
  • Invitations and messages – allows MyBizCard to send messages and invitations to connect with you.

A coach and inspirational speaker that I only know on LinkedIn fell victim to this scam application (Rich Levin). Every day, this application sends me a message to rate Rich Levin on his professional services. Here is the invitation:

mybizcard 1

When I click the "Quick Rating," it takes me to this page:

mybizcard 2

You will notice three things on this page:

  • Star Rating
  • Add a Comment
  • Rate as Anonymous
  • Sign In With LinkedIn

What you do not notice is that you cannot rate Rich anonymously. Even if you check the box, it requires you to sign-in with LinkedIn and give the application permission to access all of the information about you and all of the information about your contacts so it can spam everyone you know.

This application works like a virus. It infects one person after the other, only it infects almost everyone. Under no circumstances should you use MyBizCard or even reply to a MyBizCard invitation without a clear understanding of what it does and how it could impact your business – for better or for worse.

How to Fix It

If you are like poor Rich and you inadvertently succumbed to something like this, here is what you can do.

First, log into LinkedIn and access the account settings. There is a drop down arrow next to your name in the upper right hand corner. It will ask you to log in again.

Once you are logged in, select the button on about half way down the page on the left that says "groups, companies, and applications." Once you select that, you will see a link that says "view your applications." Select the MyBizCard application and click the blue "Remove" button from the bottom of the page.

How to Stop the Invitations

If you are getting invitations from someone who has been infected, DO NOT CLICK THE UNSUBSCRIBE BUTTON. That will only take you to another page where you will need to log into LinkedIn and give the application access to your account. Instead, contact the person who is sending you the invitation and send them this article.

If you want to use a great solution for agent ratings that is not a spammer or scammer, take a look at the Agent Ratings page on RE Technology. Two of our favorites are RealSatisfied and QSC, a partner of the National Association of REALTORS®.