British expat’s reputation in tatters after false comments on website

Published:  6 Aug at 12 PM
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A British expat living in Spain has seen his reputation left in ruins after comments that were later proven to be false were not removed from the notorious website Ripoff Report.

Property expert David Rowe had no idea that the US website even existed until 2012, when an anonymous poster accused him of fraud, theft, sex with prostitutes and drug use. After trying to take legal action, however, he soon learnt that it would be expensive and very difficult to remove the post from the site.

Rowe, originally from Bristol, had to pay 1,820 euros to even have his complaint looked at. The 47-year-old described the situation as “lunacy”, insisting that everyone had the right to arbitration. He said that it was ridiculous he had to fork out so much money to a website that was responsible for smearing your reputation.

The expat, who moved to Spain 17 years ago, suspects that the post was uploaded by Philip Cottrell, a conman who lives on the Costa del Sol and had been sued by Rowe and some clients for fraud.

He said that Cottrell poses as a property, car, wine and fine art dealer, then pockets the money when people pay for goods he promises to, but ultimately never delivers. He added that he had conned him and others out of millions of euros.

Rowe went on to say that the investigation and efforts to prosecute the conman, however, had failed and, most likely, resulted in the revenge attack on Ripoff Report.
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