Every so often you stumble across a site that looks like it might just be the legitimate face of a legitimate business but then you scratch the surface and, oh dear, it’s not.
I’d expect the well established clinics to have domains that use their names and that perhaps a keyword domain, such as the one pictured on the right, to belong to one of the newer, hungrier clinics.
This one looks good, it has a patient testimonial and info about Dr Bryant Michaels. Quite why he lives in Pennsylvania when he’s practicing in Miami is beyond me but my US geography isn’t too hot and maybe that works for him.
On the other hand, the phone number is technically in Pennsylvania but isn’t actually in service. The cute little map that came with the reverse lookup helped me with my geography. Turns out Pennsylvania really isn’t that close to Florida.
Underneath the phone number is an email address that looks plausible for Dr Bryant Michaels: info @ drmichaels.com
I’m always curious to see the main site and since drmichaels.com fits with my expectation of what the original site would be called I flitted over to take a look.
This site is for a DENTIST in DUBAI!
And the dentist is not called Bryant Michaels but Dr. Michael Formenius!
So they’re in different countries and have completely different medical careers.
From the facebook page of drmichaels.com it looks like it is probably a real dental practice with real patients. I wonder if they know that their info is being used to give fake sites credibility? Even their favicon is used!
So, I went back to the fake site and took a look about.
I looked a little further…
No ads, when I clicked on the areas that they could find me a surgeon in I got taken back to the home page so it wasn’t a directory dressed up to be a normal site. I was intrigued – what is this site about?
Then I clicked on the link to the blog and there it was – “Rent this Website”. Someone has picked up the domain and is hoping to rent it to a Miami Plastic Surgeon when they will replace the content with real info and, presumably, still link back to the official site.
It’s not a new strategy – it’s been used in Real Estate for years but those sites were usually up front and didn’t appear to peddle the services of an actual person.
It’ll be interesting to check back later and see if they’ve been successful in finding a “tenant”.