In March I received an email from someone claiming to be a Boston-based intellectual property attorney who worked for Arthur Davidson’s law firm. The email was not badly formatted and there were other errors that made me think the email might not be from a valid attorney’s office. The email also came on a day when I was feeling particularly dissatisfied so I decided to try a little to see if I could uncover a scam I had created to link to a disgusting website that I was fairly sure. My blog.
I could have chosen a lot of ways to pull off this scandal. As you can see in the video I made about it, I uncovered the scandal using some contextual clues that allowed me to use some research tools including WHOIS Lookup, Contrast Image Search, Google Maps and Webback Machine.
In April I discovered that a few more had received the same email from Arthur Davidson and decided to expose the scandal. So much so that scammers have moved from using the ArthurDavidson.com domain to ArthurDavidsonLegal.com.
June Updates and Conclusions … for now
Just out of curiosity I checked to see if ArthurDavidsonLegal.com was still being used to try to run a backlinking scam. It appears that the website has been suspended by the host. I’m guessing enough people or the right person have complained to the hosting service and suspended the site for running a fraud.
If the name Arthur Davidson seems familiar to you outside the context of a fake law firm, you probably have an interest in motorcycles and or you teach U.S. history. Arthur Davidson was one of the founders of Harley Davidson. Do you know who Arthur Davidson is? Probably. Have they chosen those domains to try to rank well in search results? Probably, but I have no way of knowing for sure.
You can learn more about the real Arthur Davidson and Harley Davidson motorcycle foundations in this wonderful Google Arts and Culture story.