Beneficiary of Fake DMCA:
- Grand Crowne Resorts
- Perjury, Impersonation, Identity-theft, Misrepresentation
Fake Link/Website Used:
- Jim Lanford
Date of Submission:
- November 11, 2014
ANALYZING THE FAKE DMCA
This technique of fake DMCA combined with bait-and-switch was prevalent since 2015 among the rogue Reputation Agencies. Here is how it worked –
- Step 1- Select a legitimate article on a reputed website. Claim it as yours by impersonating the author.
- Step 2- Find a dozen or more similar article/content on small blogs and irrelevant websites.
- Step 3 – File a fake DMCA impersonating the author’s identity, list the above small blog links as infringing upon your copyright, and slip in the target URL (in this case, Ripoffreport) so that it is camouflaged.
- Step 4- Hopefully, there’s a good chance that Google staff will not spend time verifying each and every URL and remove all the URLs listed in a single sweep, along with the one you intended from the very beginning.
The above method was overly abused until Google staff was alerted by us. Unfortunately, they could not take action against all such cases due to the deniability due to the number of URLs listed. However, Webactivism is brave enough to expose this scam and tell it as it is.
In this particular case, these scammers used an article published by ‘Keith‘ at about.com in July 2009. We couldn’t really believe that after 6 years, Keith or Jim Lanford (website owner) would care enough to file a DMCA against a dozen random irrelevant URLs, as well as a remote Ripoffreport.com URL (which apparently had nothing to do with this DMCA). Why would she even care ?
So we asked Jim Lanford (the owner of scambusters.org), and it turns out that he has NO IDEA about any DMCA report filed by him, or on his behalf. Since it was his name that was mentioned as the ‘sender’ on the DMCA report, so we didn’t bother investigating anymore and came to a definite conclusion. It is clear that this is a fake DMCA fraud, and the sole beneficiaries is Grand Crowne Resorts
SO WHAT WERE THEY TRYING TO HIDE ?
It is the same old story. A firm has a negative review at Ripoff Report. It ranks high on Google and hurts their reputation as well as business.
This review alleged time share scam among other allegations at Grand Crowne Resorts. We cannot verify any of these allegations.
Grand Crowne Resorts’s legal counsel seems to try and contest these charges which was the right thing to do. However, we would like their response on this particular fake DMCA notice and who did they actually hire for their reputation management.
EDITOR’S COMMENT : For those who might ask – ‘why and how do we interject that ‘Grand Crowne Resorts’ has something to do with this fake DMCA. Couldn’t it be a coincidence ?’, we will say this – When someone goes and creates a whole new fake news site, falsifies his/her identity and submits fake DMCA to try and de-list some very targeted content on Google, it signals intent and a plan. It is obvious that Grand Crowne Resorts’ or someone they hired was directly involved in this crime. Grand Crowne Resorts also cannot plead ignorance in this matter, since this notice on Google search is hard to miss, really.
We are awaiting more information from RipoffReport and Scambusters.org to ascertain who was behind this fake DMCA. We’ll update this page once we have more information. If you have any information to add to this investigation, get in touch with us at [email protected]