HW3 Q1 – Finding Information

Data Mining

Dear friend,
I hope you are well and have not made any further action towards purchasing a hypo-allergenic animal from “Allerca.”

In reference to that conversation we had about the legitimacy of “Allerca,” I think I can safely advise you not to purchase anything from this website.

There are many things that should throw off some alarms about this operation. The first thing is the multiple websites for the same “company.” Both allerca.com and lifestylepets.com relate to Allerca, yet have completely different interfaces and domain names. This could be considered a “mutual admiration society” situation where different sites boost each other’s reputation and pagerank.

Here is a supposed new article that suggests Allerca is scientifically legitimate, although all the sources are really from the Allerca site itself.

What’s really disturbing is the information in the FAQs page. On both sites (above), the text is the same word for word. What is most disturbing from the sites themselves are the threats for information on “non-believers.” Allerca actually states that they will offer $5,000 to someone with information about individuals smearing the name Allerca.

If you search further, you will find out why Allerca is so willing to offer up a reward for these evil-doers. I found approximately 270 comments on several blogs and forums that refer to Allerca as a scam. Individuals who paid the full amount (>$5,000) for an animal and never received it. Here are a few of the testimonials: 1, 2, and 3.

I think that you would be better off considering a more legitimate source for possible hypoallergenic animals, such as Animal Planet for resources and recommendations.

I hope I wasn’t too late to save you from a possible detrimental purchase 🙂
Best,
Consuelo

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