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Legal Trouble - need help

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by leeshoes, Sep 26, 2014.

  1. leeshoes

    leeshoes Junior Member

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    A few months ago I ran an experimental website to try some strategies for local SEO. Not gonna give too much details obviously, but basically I was trying to rank for a keyword related to a professional service like lawyer, doctor, dentist for example. I put some fake name, address and phone number just so google recognizes the site as a local business. Did well in the rankings and forgot all about this site (big mistake). Today I check the site's mailbox which I had not checked for months. The Professional Order (I'm in Canada) related the type of services the site was advertising contacted me twice through email.

    The first email was 2 months ago, they seem to think I'm using this website to offer professional services. They tell me I'm not a registered member of such and such professional order and it's illegal to advertise myself as XYZ profesionnal. They order me to close the website and I have apparently 10 days to do so, or they'll take legal action against me. There is a letter attached they want me to sign and return (it's adressed to the fake name). The letter says I admit to have usurped the identity of XYZ profession and that it's illegal to do so.. and the signed letter could be used in court.

    The second email was 1 month ago, same letter and everything. They tell me the website is still up and I need to shut it down. They give me 10 days shut down the site and return the signed letter.

    When I saw this I instantly shut down the website, and right now I'm deleting all social media profiles related to it. Obviously I have never used the website to contact anyone or offer any kind of services. They don't know my identity.. thank god I had whois protection on this site (won't matter though if they take legal action)


    My plan of action right now is to close everything related to this site and let the domain expire. I don't plan to respond to either of those emails and I think it would be pretty dumb to sign the letter. I also think they have bigger issues to deal with than my silly little website and will close this case once they see it was taken down. I'm still pretty stressed out about this issue and hope nothing happens to me. What would you do in this spot?
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2014
  2. Spuffed

    Spuffed Power Member

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    Umm, are you 100% sure it was legit?
    You should have called their number from a payphone just to double check.
     
  3. Michlap

    Michlap Regular Member

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    If it was legit person contacting you, then just explain your situation and that you rank websites, for SEO purposes, you didn't know what you were doing was illegal, as its a common practice among internet marketers to provide fake names (there is even software available that does this) and say you have the proof of what you are claiming. They probably think you are one of those crazy butt cheek implants people that provide them illegally which cause deaths. Wouldn't worry about it.
     
  4. Michlap

    Michlap Regular Member

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    or it could be a competitor LOL then you could threaten them for fraud!
     
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  5. boozie

    boozie Power Member

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    Not a big deal. If you get another letter, just write back to them and tell them what you wrote here. You put up the website, forgot about it, and now it and all of its related sites/accts are down too.
     
  6. Jobless

    Jobless Junior Member

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    I doubt it was legit. Even if it was, in the US they'd have to prove you were giving legal counsel for money, or that the site claimed YOU were a law professional. I know it's not exactly the same in Canada, but I assume they go by a similar innocent until proven guilty type system.
     
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  7. jackrabbit86

    jackrabbit86 Registered Member

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    I work for a lawyer and I can tell you that if they think you were soliciting leads they probably won't just leave it alone.
     
  8. SEODEMON

    SEODEMON Regular Member

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    Freaking out over nothing. Besides your in Canada! I would tell them to screw off and bring it on as I have done many times with people that threaten online. Shit I have had death threats and so many legal threats just from Xrumer Blasts I did years ago.

    Most of the time it is a competitor jealous that you took their position away or just because you rank above them. They want that market all to themselves. Your an enigma, they find out that your a fake online business. They suspect the worse and just have no Idea who, what and why.

    Nowadays many webmasters just use Fake domain registration for varies reasons. One being Google, the tactics Google now uses since they hired all those people a couple years ago to start being policeman.

    They are creating profile databases matching all domains to individual webmasters to see who is likely to break the rules due to past seo methods.


    Besides all of that do you know how many criminals are in Canada that the US wants so badly to send to prison?

    Canada says hell no your not getting them.
     
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    Last edited: Sep 26, 2014
  9. Michlap

    Michlap Regular Member

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    I had a competitor add me on my personal skype and he was extremely rude, saying I copied his site, but basically it was an extremely popular theme I used, he called me a moron, idiot and said "we will find you"

    Then his wife messaged me from my website, who by the way looks like horseshit, and also threathened me, It took everything I had not to spam their website with such crap links.

    But now I'm aiming to over pass them, so I just think, thanks for the motivation bit**es
     
  10. leeshoes

    leeshoes Junior Member

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    100% sure it's legit. The other party is a big professional association that regulates professional practice. For example to be a doctor here you would have to be part of this association. Checked their website and email address and they are legit.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2014
  11. Michlap

    Michlap Regular Member

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    What can they do to you? What have they threatened to do? If they are legit maybe you should phone them and say you have taken the site down and will never create a site like it again, I mean if you are THAT stressed its prob best to deal with it head on
     
  12. Heywood00d

    Heywood00d Junior Member

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    Sounds like a fairly honest mistake.

    Perhaps you should ring them - from a payphone - and explain it as you did above.

    If they buy it then they'll leave you alone I'd imagine, if they don't then what the f$*! are they gonna do about it anyway?!
     
  13. mickyfu

    mickyfu Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Pack your stuff, burn your laptop and disappear into the night before they come for you.
     
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  14. toothpickers

    toothpickers Newbie

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    Since you have shut the website down, you are safe. Just ignore any further correspondence from them. And yeah, never sign documents that they ask you to, which is a stupid way of accepting liability.
     
  15. leeshoes

    leeshoes Junior Member

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    Well there's definitely some things they could do. I'm just wondering in cases like this one do they just let go and go after bigger fish?

    What I imagine they could do if they really wanted to go on a witch hunt :

    - they have proof that some unknown website owner falsely advertised himself as a ''lawyer, doctor, insert XYZ professional''
    - With proper legal documents, they can contact the registrar and/or host and get my credit card info, which will then lead to them knowning my identity.

    That seems like a lot of trouble for them considering I haven't done anything else other than build a website. But they could do it if they decided to.
     
  16. leeshoes

    leeshoes Junior Member

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    thanks that's what I'm thinking. I actually lol'ed at the documents they sent me to sign. Are people dumb enougn to sign this?