Friday, August 07, 2009

A hoax is in our midst

This is a public service announcement / cautionary tale for everyone and anyone who has their identity and business out here on the world wide web.

This year, in my effort to streamline my number of domains I renew every year, I let go of one of my web domain names. I figured: Why hold onto it if I'm not using it? BIG, BIG mistake, folks. Someone, somewhere, clearly has a domain name tracker for sites that are already well-established and well-crawled by the search engines and that become free for purchase. Someone snapped up that domain lickety-split and immediately up popped up a fake blog. A fake DESIGN blog. The domain name was kathywellerdesigns.com. This is particularly scary because ther domain name includes MY NAME, and CLEARLY is scamming to be ME.

Reading the blog, I quickly realized every post consists of gibberish, nothing makes sense - half sentences and the like. There are a ton of Google text ads and disturbingly a porno ad, too. UGH.

Please know that this is NOT me, I am horrified by it but I don't think I have any recourse, since I am not the only Kathy Weller in the world. This is the dark side of web marketing/promotion. Please beware and protect yourselves.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I had a similar problem last year...before I decided that www.ryanhipp.com would be he most efficient, least-confusing domain for myself (albeit not the most fun or clever) I had a few monikers out there, and the subsequent domains.

I'll actually spare you the stories, but actually had a few battles for the rights to the words I had registered as domains. In the end, some of them it was easier to give up the word because it wasn't worth the confusion it would cause worrying about people misassociating me with oher inarnations of those monikers on the web.

You story sucks because its your NAME for one, and secondly you have a history of owning the domain.

I would maybe put up a banner for the next few months on your site (or make a "sticky" blog post that stays at the top for a while) with a note saying "Note: I am not the same Kathy Weller as KathyWellerDesigns.com".

That sucks, girl.

Ryan

Ann Gorbett said...

This is truly horrifying, Kathy. Thanks for the heads up.

Kathy Weller said...

Ryan-THANKS for that idea!! I put a note at the top of my blog right nav bar. Great idea.

Edrian Thomidis said...

What a terrible thing Kathy! You could find out who hosts that domain and who it belongs to and send them a 'nice' letter since it is clearly a scam and not used to promote anything legitimate. You could also work with the hosting company if they are in the U.S. Sometimes these things are automated. The hosting company holds on to the domain and puts up dummy text with what used to be the most searched words to get to that site. It is used to generate traffic and promote their services and other ads.
As someone mentioned before, you have a history of having that name and if they are in the US, you could have legal recourse.
Good luck!
Edrian | visit my blog