Two days ago I saw a tweet about this Winona Chiropractor at http://winonachiropractic.com/ (yes, the domain name is relevant) who -at first sight- hadn’t paid their web designer. Their web designer went to town and defaced the website with this:
As a marketer, you’re going to see two levels of possible explanations here:
Level 1 – Disgruntled web designer defaces website
Level 2 – Firm (that likely does something other than web design) tries to get viral attention by creating fake defaced website. There is money in attention, so even this kind of negative attention is monetize-able.
There is yet another likely explanation – And this is why I love con artist movies and why I’ve been watching the BBC series Hustle so much (thanks to Yaxx for recommending it). Because it helps you think in oblique ways and see beyond. A third possibility is:
Level 3: Extortion – Someone set up a fake website targeting ALL Winona chiropractors, they put a single chriropractor’s info in there and try to get money from them in exchange for taking the website down. After collecting money, they change the information to another chiropractor’s office details and try to extort money from them.
And there you have it folks, a criminal model of local lead generation.
PS: Highlight in bold colors the “criminal” part – If you tried this, even without success, chances are very high you’ll end up someone’s prison girlfriend in no time.
PPS: This is by no means the only shady shit out there – DDoS extortions have been around for a long time.