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  • Community

    Be wary of the social media "pied piper"

    As part of safe-guarding newcomers on Property Tribes and the wider social web, I just wanted to create a warning about pied pipers.

    The term comes from the following:

    As the story goes, in 1284, townspeople in Germany hired a rat catcher to lure away the vermin that had overrun their village. He did, except the citizens of Hamelin cheated the man out of his payment. So the man—a “pied” piper—returned a year later and lured their children away, too.

    So a Pied Piper is someone who leads people away from where there are others around who can provide security.

    Another type of Pied Piper post is also one that does not add value to the discussion, but seeks to lead someone somewhere else, often to a site with a commercial agenda.

    Newcomers should be very wary of anyone who "invites" them into a private discussion, instead of answering their question or trying to assist in the public domain.

    Of course, it may be a totally innocent request to connect with them and assist them, but when you are starting out, you do need to be wary of people luring you away from the public domain into a private conversation.

    If it remains in the public domain, it safe-guards you from being taken advantage of, as other more experienced people will be able to watch your back.

    If you do decide to follow someone into a private conversation, click on their profile or avatar and see how much they have previously contributed to the community.  Be wary if they do not contribute much.  You could also ask them to verify their identity via another platform like LinkedIn.  If they are a professional person, they will have other profiles you can check before entering into a conversation with them.

    If they are offering you deals, be sure to ask for their independent redress scheme membership number before taking the conversation further.  They should be registered with either the Property Ombudsman or the Property Redress Scheme to be trading compliantly.

    If you see a pied piper post on Property Tribes, please report it to the moderator using the "Report" option top right ^^^.

    We do have protocols in place to stop this happening, as members have to have posted 10 times before being able to send a private message via this platform, or contact them directly via other methods such as phone and email,  but that is not necessarily the case on other social media platforms.

    For those wishing to use Property Tribes for sales, advertising and marketing, this is a "paid for" service, and you can view our advertising tariff >>> here.

    I have created this explanation due to comments recently that newcomers do not understand some of the terminology or acronyms used on Property Tribes.