A few months ago we had a problem with a website which had pirated our content, and was using it to perpetrate a PayPal fraud (see the following posts: "SCAM ALERT!!!!! Beware of InsyncSoft.com" 3/29/2004; "How To Avoid Internet Scams" 3/30/2004; "InsyncSoft, Doteasy, and Plagiarism" 4/5/2004; and "Doteasy Hosting, and Copyright Issues" 4/14/2004). The content replaced our name with that of the fake company's, and supplied fake contact information, but was otherwise literally identical to our own site. At that time, we attempted to get the hosting company Doteasy to take down the violating site, to no avail. Despite the obvious and open theft, which was in direct violation of their own posted policies, Doteasy refused to help us.
About one week ago, it was brought to our attention (by an investigator working out of Florida) that it had happened again. This time, the fake company was named StartSoftX, and was being hosted on RightDNS.com. Without much hope of success, I emailed RightDNS.com, explained the situation, and asked them to take down the offending website. To my surprise, I received an email almost immediately requesting details to verify the theft, such as what pages on that site were stolen, and what pages on our site they were stolen from. I replied, and the next day was shocked but extremely pleased to find an email from RightDNS.com saying they had taken down the offending website and notified the owner of why.
This blog post serves 2 purposes: 1) To again issue a warning against internet scams and to let everyone know that the PayPal "process payment" scam is alive, well, and still claiming victims; and 2) To commend RightDNS.com for ethical behavior, and prompt and courteous service.
Anyone who is seeking a way to earn money at home, and is tempted by the great offers they see for internet jobs, is encouraged to read "How To Avoid Internet Scams", posted 3/30/2004. There are legitimate business opportunities on the internet but a little caution goes a long way.
Anyone who is seeking a reputable hosting company is encouraged to consider RightDNS.com. They have proven themselves to be responsible, responsive, and very ethical, and if they treat an outside business with that much respect, then it should follow logically that their customers will receive comparable if not superior treatment.
As a further note of interest, it seems that my copywriting is extremely popular in the copyright violation community. Just to see the results, I typed in a complete sentence from the index page of our software development site into a search on Yahoo! 5 results show an exact match -- only one of them is our own website. The others are all copyright violators: KnowledgeCentric, Vesta Soft, Star Soft, and Atrium Soft. We will continue to pursue all available action against these thieves to protect our intellectual material, but the damage done to our company is mainly by reputation, if anyone should think we were somehow associated with the con artists. A more permanent solution is to put an end to the scam, but that depends on the informed consumer. The only way that scams end is when they stop being profitable.