How Scammers Steal Your Proprietary Materials

— and What You Can Do About It

Scammers abound. You’ll find them in your community, on the Internet, and everywhere in between.
A year ago, while researching technology specialists in the financial industry, I came across a website that seemed oddly familiar. It was a carbon copy of another site I had seen! Someone had stolen every page, every picture, the logo, and even a list of outsourcers from the first site.

I notified the real owner of the site, who thanked me for alerting her to this theft. Her web designer went through the steps to get the scammer’s site shut down.

Occasionally, I’ll find one of my articles on someone else’s site. Sometimes it shows me as the author, but other times they’ve stolen the credit. In both instances, the article was used without permission. Before a hosting service will take the page down, I have to sign a legal document showing that the article was mine.

I’ve also unknowingly opened the door to scammers. This was the case ten years ago. While conducting Internet research, I was shocked to be able to download a workbook I wrote from my own website.

I wondered if it was a fluke.

I searched online for a few more workbooks I had written and also one of my PowerPoint presentations. I was able to download each of them for free – even though these are products that clients pay me for!

My mistake? I had uploaded each of these documents to my website or allowed someone else to put them on their site. I didn’t know they could be easily found by the unscrupulous.

What I did next was:

  1. Removed all the documents from my website.
  2. Set up a password-protected area on my website where the documents could be stored and accessed by my clients only.
  3. Purchased shopping cart software and added each of the products that advisors can purchase to the cart.

Chris Marlow, a colleague of mine, recently had her ebook hijacked. The scammers stole the ebook, put their name on it, set up a site to market it, put it on Amazon, charged for it – the whole works. You can learn more about how Chris handled this situation here:

If you didn’t know that these things happen, now you do!

When you find that someone has stolen your materials – fight back!

(c) 2015 Elevating Your Business

Photo used with permission